Recent News from Campuses
Meet the Carls who will spend a year abroad on prestigious Fulbright grants.
WINONA, Minn. — An honorary Doctorate of Science was presented to Dr. John Stegeman during the May 13 commencement ceremony at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
Dr. Stegeman, a 1966 Saint Mary’s alumnus and an internationally respected leader in science, was honored for his many career accomplishments, particularly while serving as a senior scientist and director of the Center for Oceans and Human Health at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass.—the world’s leading independent, non-profit organization dedicated to ocean research, exploration, and education.
After receiving his bachelor’s in biology from Saint Mary’s and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Northwestern University in Illinois, he began working at Woods Hole in 1972, where he has built and sustained an exceptional scientific career spanning four and a half decades.
His work has centered on the structure, function, and regulation of genes and enzymes that metabolize drugs, chemicals, natural products and hormones. Dr. Stegeman’s research has included studies of carcinogenesis in fish in polluted environments, molecular biomarkers of chemical exposure in fish, birds, whales, and humans, and the mechanisms by which chemicals act to cause disease.
He has lectured at venues around the world, including twice at the United Nations; and he has written more than 300 publications and has 23,000 citations focused on the metabolism and the neurodevelopmental effects of chemicals, and the origin and evolution of the cytochrome P450 gene superfamily. Dr. Stegeman serves on editorial boards of numerous journals and has served on National Institutes of Health review panels, and on advisory boards of several environmental health sciences centers throughout the U.S. He has also served as chair of the Science Advisory Board of the National Toxicology Program, served on committees for the National Research Council, and served eight years on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee to Assess Health Effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam Veterans.
WINONA, Minn. — Celebrate legendary tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s birthday with the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts dancers. The talents of MCA tappers will be showcased in a free performance 7 p.m. Sunday, May 21, in Saint Mary’s University’s Figliulo Recital Hall.
Robison was an American tap dancer who overcame many racial barriers in the early 20th century. He is perhaps best remembered for dancing with Shirley Temple during a series of the films during the 1930s and for starring in Stormy Weather, which is loosely based on his life.
The showcase will highlight the talents of beginning- through advanced-level students who range from 6 years old through adults. Dancers will be performing rhythm tap pieces they learned in workshops this month and a revival of the tap piece from the spring Dance Repertory Company Concert. The evening will also include a special tap history presentation featuring the “Shim Sham Shimmy,” a dance known as the national anthem of tap. The showcase is open to the public, and free-will donations will be accepted.
Students performing in the Winona showcase will include: Ava Amann, Lilia Civettini, Coco Costello, Elias Fernandez Greene, Deja Foster, Nathan Graff, Viva Graff, Katherine Griggs, Mattie Kreisel, Kylee Indahl, Rachel Lepper, Justine Meinke, Isaac Meinke, Preston Meinke, Samuel O’Grady, Amy Remoticado, Lillianna Richardson, and Lucy Wilfahrt. The showcase is choreographed by MCA tap instructors Jessica Dienger and Christine Martin.
This activity is made possible 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, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University, is a nonprofit organization offering programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered to youth ages 18 months and older through adults. The MCA is housed at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at the corner of 10th and Vila streets. For more information visit smumn.edu/mca, email MCA@smumn.edu, or call 507-453-5500.
University of St. Thomas senior Gavin Linnihan will take his music business major to downtown Minneapolis after he graduates. Linnihan has been a part-timer at In The Groove Music, an audio production company that writes and produces music for advertising, film and television, since his freshman year. He was hired to work full time in catalog administration for the firm in April. The award-winning, Minneapolis-based company has composed music for a diverse client base including NBC (“This is Us”), The Weinstein Company, Bravo, Target, Subaru, Cadillac, Toyota, NFL and Disney, among many others.
What does your job entail?
“I will be organizing, encoding, editing and managing our music catalog of over 7,000 titles. I will also be composing music for various commercials and TV shows.”
How did you get the job?
“I began at In The Groove as an intern, but I acquired the position through a visiting alum who is now a co-worker of mine. I also participated in the Music Industry Club here at St. Thomas, which helped me connect with other like-minded students outside of the classroom setting. As far as academics, I studied abroad in Vienna, Austria, where I studied classical guitar and acoustics in music. Outside of St. Thomas, I have been in numerous bands in a range of styles.”
Who were your influential teachers?
“I would say the teachers that played huge roles in my growth have been Chris Kachian and Joan Griffith. They both held my (and all students’) education in such a thoughtful and focused regard that helped me refine my musical and professional abilities in ways that were tailored just for me – in addition to being wonderful friends!”
How did St. Thomas prepare you to land this job?
“Well, I was introduced to In The Groove through St. Thomas! But studying here exposed me to a ton of musical professionals who, besides academic study, taught me how to apply what I have learned in a practical and professional way.”
What will you miss most about St. Thomas?
“I’ll miss the musical community that is here the most. It’s been so enlightening to be around so many like-minded people that share similar goals.”
Saint Mary’s University junior biology major Bailey O’Hare joked that she’d make her speech short May 12 during the dedication ceremony for the new Science and Learning Center on the Winona Campus.
“Because I, like you, can’t wait to get inside,” she told the crowd of more than 400 people at the Winona Campus celebration.
The completion of the $19.7 million project was the culmination of a long-time dream of the university. But the day wasn’t just about celebrating a 50,000-square-foot building; it was also about recognizing the innovative programming and enhanced learning that will soon take place inside.
Dr. Todd Reinhart, dean of the Sciences and Health Professions, said the building’s facilities will be put to use May 29 as 20 undergraduate students attend a two-week Advancing Regenerative Medicine workshop.
“Today truly is about more than a building,” he said. “We’re shaping a new vision in the sciences at Saint Mary’s at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.” For example, he cited Saint Mary’s new physician assistant master’s degree program being developed through a collaboration with Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. “This is an area where skilled medical workers are desperately needed, and we’re excited to begin training these future physician assistants in the fall of 2018,” he said. “As part of this collaboration, we are expanding our Cascade Meadow facility in Rochester.”
These are the types of initiatives that O’Hare said are further fueling her passion for sciences.
“When I was looking at where I wanted to pursue my undergraduate studies, I was drawn to Saint Mary’s because of its reputation for having a strong science program,” she said. “Being able to study in this new facility will give Saint Mary’s students an even greater advantage in preparing them for their future careers.”
Audrey Kintzi, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, announced that—through the generosity of benefactors—$19.4 of the building’s $19.7 million cost has already been raised.
Brother William Mann, Saint Mary’s president, referenced several songs during his remarks, including the John Denver lyrics, “If I had a day that I could give you, I’d give to you the day just like today. “But I’m not the one giving you this day,” he said. “WE’RE the ones and GOD is the one giving us this gloriously sunny day — and heart-filled and heart-open generous benefactors who have helped this university realize this dream.”
Another song lyric Brother William referenced was the Beatles’ “I get by with a little help from my friends.”
“When we go through the doors, on the left was supposed to be the benefactor wall of recognition. We had to adjust because the names of the people who gave the more than $19 million that has already been given, were too many to fit. So you’ll find names on the left and the right because we get by with a little help from our friends.”
“Our contribution to the public good, to civic welfare is that we are helping our nation reach and achieve its goals by doing this work, which prepares tomorrow’s leaders,” he said. “Educating science and business leaders of tomorrow is going to happen in this building. For that I am grateful to all of you who made this possible.”
O’Hare also thanked those who contributed to the Science and Learning Center. “Because of you, I will finish my academic career here, in this state-of-the-art facility, surrounded by dedicated and knowledgeable faculty members,” she said. “And I will forever be blessed by your generosity. Thank you for making today possible.”
For more photos, go here.
Gustavus Adolphus College Professor of Political Science and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Jill Locke received the 2017 Faculty Scholarly Achievement Award at the College’s annual Honors Day Convocation on Saturday, May 6.
“This award carries special significance because it comes from my peers. It’s an honor to be in the company of previous winners and the Gustavus faculty as a whole,” Locke said. “This award strengthens my commitment to advocating for more support for faculty research at Gustavus, especially in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.”
Locke, an expert in feminist political theory, democratic theory, critical race theory, and the history of political thought, has taught at Gustavus since 2000. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Whitman College and a doctorate in political science from Rutgers University. A sought-after lecturer, Locke has presented internationally in addition to authoring dozens of articles, reviews, and papers along with two books.
Her most recent book, Democracy and the Death of Shame: Political Equality and Social Disturbance, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016 and has drawn wide praise in the field. “In this extraordinary and profound book, Locke argues that egalitarian political moments have throughout history provoked laments from elites that shame is dead. Working as a historian, Locke offers us a genealogy of this ‘lament’; working as a political theorist, she offers a powerful cautionary tale to those who hope to tap into shame in pursuit of egalitarian ends,” Harvard University professor Danielle Allen wrote in her review of the book.
Previously, Locke was one of only 200 academics selected to join the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey during the 2014-2015 academic year. The organization was founded on the principles that members should be selected on the basis of their abilities alone and that the Institute should enable curiosity-driven pursuit of knowledge with no expectation of meeting predetermined goals. The first-ever Gustavus faculty member to serve the Institute, she joined a prestigious group whose members have included 33 Nobel Laureates, many MacArthur Fellows, and numerous other winners of top prizes in their respective fields.
Combining good pedagogy and scholarly work in a liberal arts setting is challenging, but rewarding, Locke says. “My research and my teaching go hand in hand. This spring, I am teaching a new senior seminar, POL 399: Revolting Children, based on my current research,” the professor explained.
In the course, students are working on research projects ranging from the Supreme Court’s treatment of children in First Amendment cases to child refugee relief in the Kindertransport, Operation Babylift, and current Syrian crisis. “I am learning right alongside my students,” Locke said. “I hope that some of my enthusiasm for asking hard questions and looking for ways to answer them inspires our students’ future endeavors, both as citizens and in the professional fields they pursue.”
First awarded in 1986, the Faculty Scholarly Achievement Award was reestablished in 2004 and is now announced during the annual Honors Day Convocation. Award recipients are nominated for this honor by fellow faculty members based on professional accomplishments regarding research activities in private, public, or corporate settings; publication; presentations at scholarly meetings or conferences; and exhibits or performances.
To learn more about the Department of Political Science at Gustavus, visit the departmental website.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
Jim Welsh Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies
QUESTION: How does this form?
The great thing about geology is that it is big picture. A lot of science is getting tinier and tinier—subatomic particles and bits of cells. Geologists go the other way. We study rocks to figure out what happened. We ask, “How did this form?” It’s macro—with an added fourth dimension of time. Another great thing about geology is the combination of working outdoors and traveling. Big Bend (Texas),
Hawaii, the Virgin Islands—for me, the very best fied trips are the first ones, when I’m discovering
along with the students. We just got back from a spring break trip to Big Bend National Park. That
place is incredible—so much great rock exposure, the desert is in bloom, and the night sky is
Deborah Goodwin Professor of Religion and Environmental Studies
QUESTION: Is this inevitable or is it someone’s business plan?
Kathleen Dean Moore’s 2012 Nobel Conference speech inspired this question and my course on religion and climate change. In it we read Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality. He argues that heedless methods of production and habits of consumption destroy the health of the planet and the dignity of living beings. I want students to know that they are more than their consumer choices, that consumerism inhibits their essential dignity, and that there are creative, even joyful, ways to resist it. Also this semester I’ve taught Perspectives on Evil, Sin, and Suffering for the last time. Students often have compelling personal reasons to explore why bad things happen to good people: that classroom can be a powerful place to be. I am grateful for all that the students have taught me about courage and faith.
Doug Huff Professor of Philosophy
QUESTION: How should one live?
I taught a first-year class called The Individual and Morality where students wrote a paper on that question from their own point of view. I made a clean copy, and it was kept in the dean’s office until they were seniors, then handed back. Obviously it was enlightening to see what they said three years before. Sooner or later you will have fundamental concerns about how one should live, and you will have to talk about God. My job has been to create a safe atmosphere where students are free to say something stupid, which is very important. As for me, I’ve had one job, one wife, one child, and one house. It looks as boring as you could possibly imagine. But there is lots of travel, and opportunity for thinking and writing. I will keep doing that. I’ll rent an office downtown. I’ll work on my projects—another play, another philosophy paper. We will travel. My life won’t change that much because I just love those things.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
In advance of our interview, I sent freshman actuarial science major Keanu Daley an email describing myself so he could identify me at The Loft. I included that I would be wearing a parka.
It didn’t occur to me that the freshly turned 20-year-old from Kingston, Jamaica, had never experienced a Minnesota winter. So, when he told me he had to look up the definition for “parka” on Google, I thought, “Of course you did! Silly me.” But he’s here for four years (on a full scholarship), so this likely is the just the beginning of his mastery of the local lexicon and the expansion of his winter wardrobe. This unfailingly positive, inquisitive and philosophical young man’s company is a great gift to Minnesota.
How did you wind up at St. Thomas?
I’d been researching from grade nine about actuarial science schools. I was only interested in the schools that had top-notch programs, and St. Thomas is considered a Center of [Actuarial] Excellence. I applied to every CAE in America and St. Thomas offered me a full ride. So, I am here making the best of this opportunity I have been given.
I couldn’t help but notice that you took a year or so off after high school. Did you intentionally take a gap year?
I did, actually! I took a year off because my first year going for college I didn’t get into the colleges I wanted and my financial situation wasn’t so great. One of the schools said I was highly qualified but there were just more qualified persons, so I took that and said to myself, “Listen, I’m going to take that information and take a year off and get more qualified.” I got a job, volunteered, and I did acting. So the year for me was building my profile for college and in doing that, hope to land a scholarship. And that’s what happened. I am here!
I definitely want to talk more about your acting, but first tell me about your year of “getting more qualified.”
The year off was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I had time to sit back and not focus on school school school. I believe I became more mature after the year. I went out and got my first job [working as a key population worker for Children First in Kingston], met new people and just grew spiritually, mentally and physically in some sense. The gap year was well needed. I would recommend it to anyone. I’m much more energized to do my major.
I read online a Jamaican article about all the acting you’ve done.
I’ve been acting since I was 5, maybe younger. I started acting in church, but I didn’t take acting seriously until around age 11. I performed in school plays and also outside of school with a performing arts group called Tableaux. I’ve been an extra in a couple of Jamaican TV series, but most of my experience is on stage. For the past three years I’ve been with a different group called Tribe Sankofa. The last production I did with them was called “Black Bodies.” Part of it was a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement in America.
So, how does a person who’s been such a wholehearted performer his entire life decide to major in actuarial science? That’s quite a shift!
I love math and calculating things! Acting is my passion but I like learning from experience in theater arts, so I didn’t want to get a formal degree. Actuarial science is interdisciplinary. I like that. But in the end it’s all about what’s happening in the world now, and the basic thing is calculating risk. There’s risk and uncertainty in everything, and I think when we can calculate anything, it gives people some reassurance.
Tell me about your first week here.
I got lost! My mom, who’d been helping me move in, was leaving and I didn’t tell her I was going to surprise her at the bus station. I had my plan but apparently the school’s bus wasn’t running that day so I had to look up a route on Google that had me taking the blue train here, the green line there, then I had to look for a bus. I managed to find my way but it took me a long time. I’ve been lost a few times, but I really enjoy being lost because if you’re not lost sometimes, you don’t know where you are going, you know?
You arrived here in the midst of a tumultuous presidential election season! Tell me about your first impressions of this country.
It’s funny because in Jamaica I feel like it is America II in a sense. A lot of what happens in America is filtered into Jamaica, so I was always abreast of what was happening, but being here physically is a different thing. Like, back home I understood Black Lives Matter and the police brutality that was going on and it was hurting me, but when you are in the midst of it … I didn’t truly understand it until I was a part of the people here. I find it much worse living here in some ways. I miss Jamaica in that sense. I feel often the things that are problems in America are not problems in Jamaica. Some would say Jamaica is a Third World country, but I would say that we are on a level where skin color doesn’t define a lot of the things like it does here. When it does, it is not the thing that is paramount to our decisions in Jamaica. Even there, we see black and white and many races, but a person’s skin color doesn’t get thrown in their face. Here, it seems like it defines who you are and what you are seen as. In Jamaica, it is not like that. That was a culture shock for me.
What do you miss about home?
I don’t know where to start. I’m missing some curry goat and white rice. And rice, peas and chicken. We have that every Sunday at home. Our national dish is ackee and saltfish. Ackee is a fruit that I’m not a fan of that we cook with salt fish. I really miss my grandma’s cooking, like her cornmeal porridge on Saturdays. She makes great saltfish and bananas and dumplings too.
I miss my family, too, but I speak to them regularly. I lived with my grandparents in Jamaica, with my mom, and I loved having them around. But I’m really open to what’s happening here, you know? I like the culture shock and learning new stuff and meeting new people and just growing in this globalized world!
What do you respect most about your mother?
She perseveres. That’s where I get that quality. My mom migrated to America about six years ago. I can’t imagine how it must have hurt her to leave her only child behind. But she wanted a better life for me and for us, so she had to go beyond her emotions even if it hurt her because of what it could mean for us.
Will you return to Jamaica after you graduate?
The economy is not great in Jamaica, so I won’t go back right way. In the strictest sense, though, I want to go back to Jamaica at some point, but I want to make my wealth first where the opportunities are because a lot of times it’s the affluent persons who have the most influence in Jamaica. I want to make a positive change when I go back and actually be able to do something. Also, my dream has always been to travel, so I probably won’t stay in America. Maybe I’ll live in Europe and start my career there!
The concert program includes ancient, traditional, and modern Chinese music, Syrian music, and Irish music.
When news broke of an oil pipeline protest at a reservation in northwestern North Dakota in the summer of 2016, hardly anyone batted an eye. The American public was caught up in a tumultuous presidential campaign that promised up-to-the-minute shock and awe.
Yet as the days and weeks went on, the crowd of protestors grew both in number and voice, encompassing tribal members from across the country. By September, the protest – and its home tribe, the Standing Rock Sioux, and nemesis, the Dakota Access Pipeline – had become front page news.
The Duty to Consult
So how did we get here? How did a project such as DAPL, which was announced in June 2014, find itself stalled and the subject of national debate two and a half years later?
For Travis Clark ’14, it all comes down to the duty to consult – as laid out in Executive Order 13175. A complicated and somewhat vague rule, it charges executive departments and agencies with “engaging in regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in the development of federal policies that have tribal implications.” The order also notes that those agencies are “responsible for strengthening the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Indian tribes.”
“The magic language in that executive order is, whenever the rights of the tribes are ‘implicated,’ it requires the government agency to provide substantive consultation early in the decision-making process,” said Clark, an enrolled tribal member of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. “But there’s not a ton of guidance on how, when and where the consultation duty kicks in and what procedurally and substantively is required for adequate consultation.”
In the case of the DAPL, Clark said, those efforts came too little, too late, and the tribes “have been written out of the equation.” He said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent a “Dear Tribal Leader” letter notifying the affected tribe that a permit was being considered, and later held a listening session with tribal members.
“There wasn’t very much in the way of ‘consultation,’” Clark said. “This was in January; construction was going to begin in March. The tribes were extremely upset because the executive order calls for ‘substantive consultation.’ You can’t just come out here and amuse us; it has to be early in the decision-making process. Their feeling is that tribal consultation meant just checking a box.”
Some have argued that the land doesn’t belong to the tribes, but the tribes contend that the land is still protected by treaty, so they still have rights to it.
“Building a pipeline injures our existing treaty rights to this land, even though it’s not trust land,” Clark said. “The building of this project injures and has the potential to injure our rights to that land. We absolutely should be at the table.”
In his mind, the “aggressive” actions of Energy Transfer Partners to initiate permits and construction on the DAPL “forced the hand of the tribes to take protest action.” He believes the protest, which gained the attention of the mass media in late 2016, is responsible for persuading the Army Corps to take another look at the project.
Trust Lands and Treaty-Protected Lands
Until recently, Clark served as lead attorney with the Rapid City, South Dakota-based firm that represented the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe for the Keystone XL Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipeline matters. The bulk of his work there was connected to the Keystone XL Pipeline project and its impact on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. He said the situation with DAPL and the Standing Rock Sioux is nearly identical, with both projects impacted by the highly regulated issue of Indian trust land.
“It’s a headache for companies like Energy Transfer Partners or TransCanada to build on unless the tribes are on board, and in western South Dakota, that sort of cooperation is just not going to happen,” Clark said. “Some other tribes make other decisions – at Osage [in Oklahoma], natural gas is all over the reservation. But these infrastructure projects are in the northern plains around tribes that put their foot down.”
The solution? Reroute to avoid Indian trust land altogether. Still, in the case of both projects, the routes cross land for which the tribes have treaty-protected use rights, largely for gathering cultural resources through hunting, fishing and foraging. And even when the paths are rerouted, they still end up immediately adjacent to trust lands.
“The company has plausible deniability – you’ll hear Energy Transfer Partners say the pipeline is not on any part of the reservation,” Clark said. “It’s kind of a half-truth. It’s 100 yards away.”
For the Cheyenne River Sioux, Clark said the Keystone XL proposed crossing was a drill underneath the tribe’s primary clean drinking water source. When a pipeline crossing the Yellowstone River in Montana burst in early 2015, more than 50,000 gallons of oil spilled into the river, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency, and leaving residents without clean water. Critics of the DAPL project have expressed concern that a break could happen in the Missouri River too.
So, why are some tribes, like those in the Dakotas, less likely to allow development on their land than tribes in other parts of the country? Clark believes the answer is, in part, historical.
“Back home (in Oklahoma), oil and gas development started around the turn of the century,” Clark said. “For instance, Keystone would have gone through my home reservation, and the tribe was fairly OK with it. It’s been such a part of existence in Oklahoma for Oklahoma tribes that no one really bats an eye when a pipeline is built. This is fairly new in the Dakotas.”
There also are incentives to consider. Tribes have mineral rights to their land, so when a pipeline is built, the tribe has an incentive to get oil to market. This isn’t the case just with oil – other infrastructure projects have incentives too. Wind energy development is a potential source of financial benefit for tribes in the Dakotas.
“In the instance of the DAPL, the tribes have no benefit whatsoever. They basically carry all of the risk of a spill and get zero benefit,” Clark said.
For Charles Dolson ’14, the DAPL conflict took a different turn. As executive director of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa in northern Minnesota, Dolson had worked with Enbridge Energy, which has an ownership stake in the DAPL, to finance a 10-mega-watt solar project for the tribe.
“Our goal is to be energy independent,” said Dolson, who grew up on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. “Enbridge helped us put together the financing package so we could do that. We were on the verge of having an agreement when we hit September, a time when the protest was becoming very loud.”
The clash between law enforcement and protestors resulted in Red Lake tribal leaders pulling the deal with Enbridge. Dolson said they viewed the partnership as political “poison,” though he still sees Enbridge as an organization that wants to pursue renewable energy.
Take one look at history, and it’s easy to see why Dolson’s tribal council was hesitant to put its tribe’s interests above those of another. The relationship between tribal nations and the U.S. government has been, at times, heartbreaking. Most notably when it comes to assimilation.
Efforts to assimilate tribes and their members into American society are a complicated part of our history, with initiatives waffling over the years. In the decades that followed the dismantling of more than 100 tribal nations through 1930s legislation, Indian children affected by child welfare situations were moved from their homes and placed into the foster care system outside of their tribal communities.
“It was well-intentioned, but had terrible traumatic effects on tribes and their culture,” said Ron Walters ’10, a staff attorney at the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Law Center in Minneapolis.
The ICWA, passed in 1978, makes tribes a party to the proceedings, allows families to transfer cases to tribal court and provides tribes with exclusive jurisdiction to hear cases for tribal members living on the reservation.
Through ICWA, Walters said, more services are provided and more active steps are taken with the goal of getting kids back to their own families.
Walters worked for five years after law school for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in a Legal Aid office. There, he handled evictions, disability benefits and child protection cases – “their problems were basically the same as anybody else in the county” – but with the added complications of ICWA and Public Law 280. But Walters stumbled into Indian Law almost literally, as his introduction to the subject came from meeting an ICWA Law Center volunteer coordinator at the public interest fair during his first year of law school.
“I started volunteering there and was able to work on research projects for actual cases, like big, contested adoption cases that were really interesting legally, touching on unsettled areas of the ICWA, and also factually very interesting,” he said. “I got pretty intrigued with what I was doing right away. I just found a groove there and never really left.”
He started working with the Mille Lacs Band as a law clerk and was hired on as a staff attorney after passing the bar. He returned to the ICWA Law Center full time in 2016 and runs an estate planning practice on the side.
As a non-native person working exclusively with native populations, Walters has experienced the complicated relationship between the U.S. and tribal nations in a more personal way. He has witnessed racism toward his clients, as well as distrust from them – some questioning whether a white lawyer truly could be an advocate for a native family.
“You still have grandparents on the reservation whose memory from childhood was being told to go run and hide in the woods because social workers were coming with school buses to take kids away to foster homes,” he said. “Hiding from social workers was a very real part of childhood. … The shorter answer is, there has always been a conflict between white culture and native culture, either in terms of control of land or control of resources or approaches to living.”
The Dawes Act is a major result of those early assimilation efforts and still complicates lives today. This 1887 initiative authorized the U.S. government to divide tribally held trust land into parcels for individual tribal members, effectively separating native people from their communities. The lasting impact: complicated divisions of assets for heirs and jagged, disconnected parcels of protected tribal land that are playing out in the pipeline route disputes we’re seeing today.
A Call for Awareness and Tribal Unity
Clark sees tribal sovereignty as a “black hole” in most Americans’ understanding of how their nation works. The attention given to the DAPL protest has the potential to change the narrow understanding of Indian culture shared by many Americans today, including the level of influence tribes have on the U.S. government.
“Everyone is familiar with federalism and the general idea where the central national government shares power and sovereignty and governance with 50 states, but that’s where 99 percent of people’s understanding stops,” Clark said. “In reality, it’s not just federal government and state governments, but also tribal government.”
Walters, too, added that it’s important for people to “view Indian culture as being dynamic – it hasn’t been frozen in time,” he said. “A lot of the practices you see in native culture are historically based, but a lot of them are in response to day-to-day issues that are going on right now.”
Yet in some ways history and present day culture for native communities are all too similar. The number of native children in foster care in the United States is disproportionately high compared to the number of non-native children, and it’s stayed at roughly the same rate for decades. Most of Walters’ cases involve a parent struggling with chemical dependency.
“When you look at how raw the history has been and how recent and traumatizing it has been, it’s not hard to guess why the community is still struggling,” Walters said. “These aren’t simple problems, and there has obviously been a long-standing history of poor treatment of native tribes by the federal government, so it’s easy to look at the Dakota Access Pipeline situation as being another chapter in that history.”
For Clark, he sees the protest as an impetus for change in the way tribes support one another. He uses the Three Affiliated Tribe in North Dakota as an example of this – the tribe sells oil from its reservation, much of which would be transported by the DAPL. However, when Standing Rock opposed the pipeline’s development, Three Affiliated stood behind them, elevating Standing Rock’s concerns above their own financial interests.
“We haven’t seen tribal unity at this level for a long time,” Clark said. “It’s the mindset that, ‘If they can treat Standing Rock this way, then next they’ll treat us this way.’ I have a lot of hope that what’s going on in North Dakota will bring tribes closer together and there will be a lot more unity going forward.”
Tied Up in Federal Funds and Contracts
There’s no path out of this conflict without unity between tribal nations and the U.S. government, as well. When Congress passed the Indian Self-Determination Act in 1975, sovereignty was expanded, and authority was given to U.S. government agencies to contract and make grants with Indian tribes for the purpose of providing federal services. These contracts have affected tribal nations in unforeseen ways, demanding constant partnership between communities.
The government provides funding for tribal programs, and the tribes administer them, just as any private company does. Congress also is obligated to pay for cost overruns with these contracts, including travel expenses, workers’ compensation, insurance and legal fees. Cost overruns make for a major issue in the debate on how to manage federal dollars, but in Indian country, they’ve had a deeper impact.
Because tribes don’t generally collect taxes on their people or benefit from the local property tax base, they rely on these federal dollars to maintain the same community services afforded to American cities, counties and states. When the government doesn’t make good on its promise to pay the over-runs, tribes are left with the bill, resulting in deep cuts to education, health care and public housing in tribal nations.
In a nation such as White Earth, where Dan Hickey ’13 worked, drugs have been a problem, and cuts to health care only made things worse.
Hickey, a tribal member of Lac du Flambeau in northern Wisconsin, has spent the bulk of his young career working in Indian child welfare – as a student attorney with the Regional Native Public Defense Corporation, as an intern with the Indian Child Welfare Law Center, as an intern with the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and as a child welfare attorney for the White Earth Nation.
“When you think of sovereignty, you think you’re entirely independent from the federal government, but it’s not really the case,” Hickey said. “Even if the tribes get paid what they’re owed, a lot of damage was already done.”
Still, Dolson added, the state of Minnesota in particular has been very good at working with tribes, especially when it comes to increasing social services. Dolson regularly works with Emily Johnson Piper ’05, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
“We’ve worked with Emily really closely to help build up and greatly expand Red Lake’s existing services program,” he said. “It’s been helpful in allowing us to speed up the process of rehabilitating children under targeted case management and getting them back in place with their families.”
Walters, too, praised the work of his government partners.
“Although not perfect, Hennepin County has really embraced the spirit of ICWA and the historical difficulties tribes have had and the roles county governments have played in this area,” he said. “The judges, attorneys and social workers really do seem to have buy-in to the spirit of ICWA.”
Dolson acknowledged that the healthy relationship he enjoys with the state doesn’t exist between all tribes and communities.
“Anywhere you govern is very expensive to operate, and tribes do it with so much less that it can become a burden on their community counterparts,” he said.
He said the tribes’ inability to tax and enforce certain laws, as well as the lack of bottom-line funding that would come to a municipality or county through the state or federal government, all contribute to the problem. And while casinos can be a source of financial relief for tribes, in northern Minnesota, where the casino market is saturated and the population is sparse, the revenue can’t solve the tribal communities’ woes.
Infrastructure and development are the two leading issues that contribute to tension between tribes and the U.S. government today, Clark said. In other capacities, the relationship is good, albeit “complex.”
“It’s hard to say it’s better now or it’s worse now,” he said. “It’s sort of a marbling between the two. It’s such a close and complex relationship; I think it’s impossible to answer.”
As senior adviser with the Bureau of Indian Education, Clark works with tribes around the country to ensure the 183 schools within the bureau’s system are equipped with the resources necessary to provide a quality education to tribal children. The bureau’s work with tribal schools, he said, is “a partnership.”
“Every agency with the government, at some point – as the Army Corps of Engineers is learning right now – needs to have a relationship with tribes,” Clark said. “The agency needs to foster that relationship to make sure it’s strong and cooperative.”
With a new administration in the White House, some who work with tribal populations are left holding their breath. Dolson said he expects to see some deregulation (potentially positive for tribes), but anticipates backlash from President Donald Trump tied to the businessman’s history in casinos. The president’s commitment to increasing infrastructure also would benefit some tribes, Dolson said. Following a listening session with the president’s transition team in December, Dolson said he was left with the impression that “they really want to work closely and help accomplish some goals for Indian country that are very positive.”
Looking forward, Walters, too, is optimistic.
“While the Dakota Access Pipeline situation seems sad and frustrating and upsetting in terms of corporate interest being allowed to threaten the livelihoods of disenfranchised people, I’ve also seen governments and tribes work well together and pursue common goals and values in a way that’s really respectful and positive,” Walters said. “I don’t think I could do the work that I do if I saw the system as faulty from the ground up. We’re struggling to make sense of what the history of all this treatment has been and how the legacy is affecting modern-day issues, but there does seem to be opportunity for things to be done differently.”
WINONA, Minn. — On Friday, May 12, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota launched the public phase of the $57 million “Discover Inspire Lead” capital campaign—the most ambitious and comprehensive campaign in the university’s history. The campaign launch, celebrated with nearly 200 honored benefactors and guests on the Winona Campus Friday, was preceded by the dedication of Saint Mary’s new Science and Learning Center, just one initiative addressed by the campaign.
“Through the generosity of our benefactors we are able to announce that of our $57 million goal, we have already raised an astonishing $49.5 million,” said Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary’s. “Our vitality relies on the willingness of alumni and friends to partner with us in envisioning the best possible experiences for our students. We couldn’t have better partners for our journey. Together, through this campaign, we will significantly enhance programs and areas throughout our university that will have an important and meaningful impact on our deserving students.”
A total of $2 million will be used to enhance the development of athletic programs and facilities. Upgraded athletic and recreational facilities and equipment will be available to all students. As part of these funds, a $1.5 million multi-use stadium and matching amenities is planned. The facility—which will be located at the track and field/soccer complex—will include a seating area, press boxes, restrooms, meeting and gathering spaces, and VIP access areas.
Business and science are a natural pairing, which is why Saint Mary’s is creating an innovative new space in which these two disciplines can collaborate. Gifts totaling $10 million will help Saint Mary’s re-imagine and revitalize the Adducci Science Center’s Hoffman and Brother Charles Halls on its Winona Campus with unique rooms including:
- A makerspace which fosters hands-on collaborative experimentation for students across disciplines (common items found in makerspaces include 3D printers, laser cutters, robotics components, and snorkel fume hoods).
- A computational lab that allows for students to apply computational and numerical techniques to solve large and complex problems.
- A marketing intelligence center, in which students can see and access commodities, stocks, bonds, and demographic data from throughout the world.
- Innovative classrooms, a sales training center, a digital teaming space, and the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies Suite.
First Generation Initiative
The First Generation Initiative was created to break down barriers to higher education by providing high-potential students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds with financial support and also academic support. These students, through the generosity of benefactors, receive full financial funding. In addition, they also receive enhanced student services because Saint Mary’s knows it isn’t just about access, it’s also about the support they receive in order to successfully achieve their dreams of obtaining a college degree.
Gifts totaling $15 million will help countless First Generation students at Saint Mary’s University turn their academic dreams into academic degrees. Scholarship support and a strong endowment fund will help the university reach out to more of these gifted young learners.
The face of Saint Mary’s has changed through the years. Where many De La Salle Christian Brothers once filled the classrooms and offices, a much smaller number serve today. Saint Mary’s mission continues to grow and thrive as it is transmitted from vowed religious to lay partners. Lasallian education and formation opportunities at home and around the globe allow faculty, staff, and students to come together in thought, prayer and reflection, community, and study to exchange ideas and unify their work as part of the bigger Lasallian network. Gifts to an endowment of $500,000 would fund in perpetuity Lasallian training programs for students, faculty, and staff, deepening their understanding of the Lasallian charism and the work of the Brothers.
Saint Mary’s is in the process of increasing significantly the capacity of its science program and unleashing its full potential. The new Science and Learning Center on the Winona Campus, built to drive impressive outcomes, will give Saint Mary’s students an even greater career advantage. This $19.7 million facility has an architectural vision that reflects the natural beauty of the Winona Campus. The 50,000-square-foot contemporary science center is a focal point on the campus and will provide a platform for increased research opportunities.
Making education affordable and accessible is at the core of Saint Mary’s mission. Saint Mary’s believes every student has a right to an excellent education. Additionally scholarship support strengthens the university by allowing it to attract and retain the most promising students, enhancing the university experience for everyone by creating a robust and diverse academic atmosphere. Gifts in support of student scholarships will help countless students realize their academic dreams. Many of these students still believe that a university education is out of their reach.
Twin Cities expansion
Saint Mary’s Twin Cities adult learners may initially turn to Saint Mary’s because of its flexibility and convenience, but what starts as a transaction quickly becomes a transformation. Saint Mary’s anticipates making an investment of $4 to $6 million to convert the carriage house on the Twin Cities Campus in Minneapolis into classrooms and learning spaces to create a robust student community on our adult-learner campus. These spaces will be ideal for students to meet, study, socialize, interact with their instructors, and collaborate before and after classes.
“Gifts designated for our capital campaign will make an extraordinary impact on our students,” said Audrey Kintzi, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations at Saint Mary’s. “We invite others to join us in our campaign and watch the results of your donations at work, hear from the students who are benefiting, and literally change lives.”
To learn more about the Discover Inspire Lead campaign for Saint Mary’s University, visit to smumn.edu/campaign.
Concordia University, St. Paul’s Administrative Licensure program, offered as part of either its Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) or Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degrees, has been re-accredited by the Minnesota Board of School Administrators (BOSA) for an additional five years.
BOSA is the professional body that accredits Minnesota colleges and universities that provide K-12 administrator licensing programs.… Read More
The post Concordia’s Administrative Licensure Program Earns Reaccreditation appeared first on Concordia St. Paul.
Yes, you are a leader. Leadership is not about a title or position, it is about leading one or more individuals to a common goal. We are all leaders in our own way. Now, tell me, what is your leadership story?
Defined as a recollection of unique lived experiences, your personal leadership story can communicate your personal brand of leadership to others. Stories are an ancient and honored form of communication, known for conveying cultural values, norms, and knowledge. They are one of the most time-tested learning and motivational tools known in human history. In today’s modern day, your leadership story can be an effective means of highlighting and sharing your professional successes, failures, and growth with others.
For parents, it is common to use stories as an educational tool during early onset of child development to express morals, values, and life expectations to children. Bedtime stories are typically used as learning experiences, allowing children to use their imaginations to understand concepts that might not be otherwise conveyed in any other manner. In the same fashion, stories are used differently throughout all stages of life as a means of interpreting information, meaning-making, and converting that meaning into an action. But how can we use them in the business world or for personal leadership growth?
A leadership story based on your lived experiences can communicate your leadership vision to others. If you are able to communicate your vision, values, and beliefs to others, you will be able to build stronger relationships with your followers (which is needed to run an effective business or organization). Leadership stories are not just stories about “who I am” but stories about “why am I here” and “how did I become a leader.” These stories help support and justify a leader’s role and support their vision. A leadership story can provide a leader with a “mean-making system” for their leadership style which can help justify their actions towards their vision to others.
According to leadership storytelling researchers, Camille James and William Minnis, each of us are storytellers. We tell stories every day because our lives are nothing more than a collection of stories. Stories are simple, timeless, educational, empowering, fun, and memorable. When infused with leadership competencies, stories are able to communicate and retain information in a way that is easy to relate too. Because personal leadership stories are based on a lived experiences, the contents of the stories can translate quickly into everyday actions.
The art and craft of leadership storytelling is an acquired skill that anyone can develop. For those who expend the time and energy to develop the art and craft of storytelling, a seamless, effective, and memorable message will be conveyed that will helps your followers gain new insights into you as a leader.
So I ask you again, what is your leadership story? Learn more on how you can reflect on your leadership experiences to develop and write (or rewrite) your leadership story, while earning your M.A. in Organizational Leadership degree. You can also contact George Diaz, MAOL Program Director, at 612-238-4510 or email: Gdiaz@smumn.edu.
Actress of the popular TV shows “Orange is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin” Diane Guerrero spoke at St. Thomas on Thursday, May 10. While Guerrero is known for playing bubbly characters in both shows, she has recently gained attention from a different spotlight: In 2014, she wrote an editorial for the Los Angeles Times sharing that her parents, who were both from Colombia, had been deported when she was 14.
Guerrero, who was born in the United States, made the decision to stay. Abandoned by the system, she stayed with friends throughout high school, and survived on her own when she left for college.
Her talk, which was sponsored by the Diversity Activities Board, centered on her personal experience with the immigration system. As she wove her tale, she created a casual atmosphere while simultaneously making it hard to forget she has become an important voice in the conversation on undocumented immigrants, particularly in how the current system can fracture families.
Since her original editorial, she has become an advocate for immigration reform. She was named a White House ambassador for citizenship and naturalization by former President Barack Obama, and published a memoir called In the Country We Love: My Family Divided.
Here are five observations from her talk.
We need to find a way to have these conversations
Immigration is a political hot button right now; there’s no use denying that. We also currently live in a society that feels more divided than ever by politics.
Guerrero opened the evening by talking about how she had long been afraid to debate anyone over divisive issues because she didn’t feel capable. After her parents were deported, she rarely shared the story with anyone else, particularly when she went to college. When she did begin to share what had happened, she was nervous.
However, she said that, to her, there is “no greater cause than to embrace differences and respect human dignity. … I want so much for everyone to talk about what they believe and have an honest discussion.” She said she believed that concept fit with aspects of the mission at St. Thomas, and reiterated several times she understood not everyone would agree with her, but that it was still important for the conversation to happen.
During the Q&A she advised students on how to talk with someone they don’t agree with: “If you are coming from a place of love about something you believe in, that’s enough. Be peaceful and respectful, and if people still don’t understand, that’s on them.”
Don’t be afraid to try new things – college is a good place to learn
Guerrero spoke at length about the wonderful opportunities afforded to those in college; obtaining an education was one of the reasons she chose to stay in the United States. She emphasized the great potential students have to make a difference in the world.
“You have the tools to make a difference or you wouldn’t be here,” she said, adding that being on a campus provided students with the chance to use their voices and find other like-minded individuals to work alongside. “… Your diploma might be more meaningful with social justice instilled.”
She also talked about how students shouldn’t be afraid to try new or different things, describing her own winding path as an example of how people can reinvent themselves to follow a passion and, if that doesn’t work, still try something else.
“Give yourself the OK to do something you’re afraid of,” she said
St. Thomas is a great place for those opportunities
At times, Guerrero read from the convictions of St. Thomas, praising them and paying particular attention to the tenants of dignity and gratitude.
She also highlighted the Immigration Law Practice Group at the St. Thomas School of Law and its efforts to help a 4-year-old Somali girl who was affected by President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
“You should be very proud of your school,” Guerrero told the room.
Be civically involved
Unsurprisingly, Guerrero encouraged everyone assembled to be as civically engaged as possible. She strongly emphasized the need for people to show up and vote, and also said to make sure friends and families who are eligible to become citizens do so and also exercise their right to vote.
She also told everyone to be aware of who was representing them and to attend town hall forums whenever possible (and joked that she had heard they were “lit”).
Guerrero’s story is one that resonates with many
While Guerrero said she was nervous about sharing her story, she also felt a sense of obligation to do so. On the one hand, she felt inspired by those who came forward under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, and simultaneously frustrated she didn’t see her story reflected in the national conversation.
“My story was one of the most American, but it wasn’t told,” she said. “I was frustrated that politicians talk about immigrants without trying to fix the system – we’re not just numbers.”
She said she was particularly nervous when her memoir came out, but most of the feedback was from others who had gone through similar problems.
“There are millions of children who went through the same thing,” Guerrero said. “I learned that we are a community that supports one another.”
Indeed, many of the questions during the Q&A were from those who related to Guerrero and didn’t often see their story told on a large scale.
“Your story is just as unique and powerful as anyone else’s,” she said in response to one question. “It’s not your fault that the system is broken, and we have not found a way to honor [immigrants.]”
For those who are struggling, she encouraged them to reach out, because there are resources for them.
For those who are members of the St. Thomas community, the Dean of Students Office keeps a list of Resources for Undocumented Students. The Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion Services is also available for support. Define America is a new student group on campus that uses the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation about immigrants, identity and citizenship in a changing America.
The Office of Academic Affairs is pleased to announce affirmative decisions on promotion and tenure following the conclusion of the Tenure and Promotion Committee meetings in May 2017.
The following tenured members of the faculty were promoted, effective Sept. 1, 2017:
- Stephen Hipp, Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, promoted to professor
- Kevin Theissen, Department of Geology, College of Arts and Sciences, promoted to professor
The following member of the faculty was granted tenure and assigned the rank of professor effective July 1, 2017:
- Yohuru Williams, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences
Please join us in congratulating them on their success.
It’s only in its third year but already the Gustie Entrepreneur Cup—the College’s student entrepreneur competition—has doubled in interest and prize money.
This year, student teams from across campus will present their best new business ideas to Gustie alum judges. First place will receive $5,000 and automatically advance to the student division of the Minnesota Cup. (Gustavus is one of only two colleges with a direct line to the state’s competition.) Second- and third-place winners share an additional $5,000.
The growth in student enthusiasm is no surprise to Cup co-director Marta Podemska-Mikluch, who is also the Marcia Page and John Huepenbecker Endowed Professor Professor in Entrepreneurship. “Gusties are exceptional, inventive collaborators,” she says. Last year, when the competition opened up beyond her advanced management class, “We had teams with someone from computer science, someone from biology—there has been so much interdisciplinary collaboration.”
The big surprise, she says, is the amount of alumni engagement with the Cup. “I have been floored by how much support we have received. We have about 50 alumni who judge, coach, speak, and support the Cup financially. It’s amazing how many commit their time.”
Ari Silkey ’99, general manager and executive lead for the transportation technology group for Amazon, has been a coach and a judge of the Gustie Cup from its start. “It’s less about winning and more about making a plan around a business,” Silkey says. “It’s about thinking about the world outside of college, about new business ideas. It’s refreshing and enlightening.”
Last year’s winner, JonCarlo Westerlund ’17, used the prize to rent an office and pitch investors on his idea (a platform to pair outdoors enthusiasts with resorts and guides). But he says the real prize was the guidance and feedback from alums. “The great thing about the Gustie Cup is the network that it brings. You hear about the Gustie network a lot, and the Cup opened me up to it—to people who are on my side.”
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
The University of St. Thomas Office of Diversity and Inclusion recently honored retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Alan C. Page with its Outstanding Commitment Award for Community Service. The annual award recognizes recipients for their dedication and commitment to academic excellence in Minnesota.
In 1998, Page and his wife, Diane Sims Page, founded the Page Education Foundation on the eve of his induction to the NFL Hall of Fame. For more than 30 years, the not-for-profit organization has provided financial support to students of color in Minnesota in the form of Page Grants to pursue their educational dreams. In turn, Page Scholars help develop positive attitudes about education among elementary and middle school students by volunteering as tutors and mentors in their communities.
“The Page Education Foundation ignited my passion for service in the community and guided me on my journey to becoming a civil rights attorney,” said Dr. Artika Tyner, associate vice president of diversity and inclusion at the University of St. Thomas. “Being a Page Scholar provided me with a challenge and opportunity. I was challenged to reach my full potential as a student, scholar and citizen. I also had the opportunity to give back to my community by mentoring and tutoring elementary students.”
For the 2016-17 academic year, 518 Page Scholars were awarded more than $850,000 in Page Grants. Since its founding, the Page Education Foundation has provided more than $13 million in financial support to 6,500 Page Scholars who have volunteered more than 420,000 hours in communities across Minnesota. Today, the University of St. Thomas boasts the largest number of Page Scholars among private colleges and universities in Minnesota, with 29 current students and 138 total students since 2004.
“Justice Page serves as a role model by demonstrating the transformative power of academic excellence and servant leadership,” Tyner said. “His legacy will inspire future generations of Tommies to excel both in the classroom by soaring academically and outside the classroom by serving as global citizens who make a difference in the world.”
Page spent 15 years in the NFL playing for both the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears, becoming the first defensive player in the league’s history to receive an MVP award. His persistence and devotion to helping Minnesota’s young people demonstrate the values on which the Page Foundation was built and provide a powerful example to Page Scholars.