Recent News from Campuses

All-Star Game – An Economic Home Run for Minneapolis?

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 3:23pm

With all of the activity going on around the Twin Cities for the last few days surrounding the 2014 All-Star Game we reached out to some of our faculty experts to comment on the economic impact of major (sporting) events like this.

John T. Wendt, J.D., M.A. is a professor of ethics and business law and serves on the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission among other anti-doping panels. His research centers on the intersection of sports and business:

There are a number of reasons for bidding and hosting major sporting events. First is the argument for economic development. Economists will argue about the economic value forever (though, see professor Spry’s thoughts below).

Meet Minneapolis, the city’s convention and visitors bureau said that the MLB All Star Game could bring in 160,000 fans to the Twin Cities. They also say that it will have an economic impact of $75 million during All-Star Game week. It is also part of about $395 million that Meet Minneapolis says that special events will bring in during 2014.

There will be a lot of activity at hotels, retail, restaurants and tourist attractions and it will showcase our new transit system. The city will allow bars to stay open until 4 a.m. on the Monday and Tuesday night of the All-Star Game bringing in additional revenue. Some will counter that argument saying that the spending during the All Star Game and Super Bowl still would have taken place without the game in town.

Still, Major League Baseball keeps virtually all the revenue from ticket sales, parking, merchandise and concessions. MLB also got veto power over who would get temporary permits [for advertising] in most of downtown, northeast Minneapolis and some blocks around TCF Stadium. (This is similar to what will happen with the Super Bowl.)

Events do come with a cost, including security and overtime for the Minneapolis Police, Metro Transit, Hennepin County, state and federal agencies including ATF and Homeland Security.

From the Twins perspective it is a source of additional revenue while they have been struggling on the field. After losing seasons, the Twins can “sell” to their tickets holders a rare opportunity – a chance to buy tickets to the All-Star Game, the Home Run Derby and other events. All for about $1000 a ticket. As Kevin Smith, Minnesota Twins’ senior director of corporate communications and broadcasting said, “This is really a once-in-a-generation opportunity. It hasn’t happened since 1985, and it’s not coming back here anytime soon.”

Beyond the economics there are other reasons for bidding and hosting especially on the social intangible impacts on the community. First, there is increased community visibility. How many times will they say “Minneapolis” or “Minnesota” with beautiful shots of the city? That is worth millions in positive public relations fees. It is a tremendous marketing tool.

Second it can enhance the community image, trying to sell the image of Minneapolis to make it more attractive to businesses, tourists and inhabits. Sports are a highly visible symbol – symbolic of the city as a whole. Major events make a tremendous impression of this market. They bring visibility to the Twin Cities for days leading up to, during and even after the game.

Think of the events that we are either hosting or bidding to host – the All-Star Game, the Super Bowl, the Women’s and Men’s NCAA Final Four, NCAA and WCHA Hockey, the NBA and WNBA All Star Games. All these events come with national and international recognition and bring tens of thousands of people to the Twin Cities.

Finally, there is “psychic income” or the emotional and psychological benefits that Twin Cities’ residents perceive they receive even though they do not physically attend the game or other events or are even involved in them. It is the internal city pride and community solidarity that has a community consciousness and creates social bonding.

For the Super Bowl, think of the costs that we have incurred. Have we gone over the tipping point?First, look at the costs of building the nearly $1 billion cost of the stadium: $348 million from the State of Minnesota, $150 million from the City of Minneapolis, $200 million from the NFL, $177 million from the team, $100 from personal seat licenses. Compare that with the $1 billion cost of the new Atlanta stadium where it’s been reported that the owner Arthur Block will pay 80% of the financing and the city of Atlanta, 20%.

Then there is the new news that the costs of hosting the Super Bowl may be staggering: Here are some of the NFL demands.

John A. Spry Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Finance Department and has conducted analyses of the economic impact of major events on local economies:

Don’t expect to have any more money in your wallet because of Target Field and the All-Star game. While Meet Minneapolis “is predicting that the game will bring in about $75 million for businesses in the city,” this is a public relations statement that not supported by the economic evidence. As research in the Southern Economic Journal has found:

Sports leagues, franchises, and civic boosters tout the economic benefits of professional sports as an incentive for host cities to construct new stadiums or arenas at considerable public expense. Past league-sponsored studies have estimated that new stadiums, franchises, and mega-events such as the Super Bowl increase economic activity by potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in host cities. A detailed regression analysis of taxable sales in Florida over the period extending from 1980 to 2005 fails to support these claims. New stadiums, arenas, and franchises, as well as mega-events, appear to be as likely to reduce taxable sales as increase them.

For most people the largest economic impact of building Target Field to host an All-Star game and Twins games, will be the extra 0.15% sales tax they pay year-round on each taxable purchase in Hennepin County.

Putting aside the host city economics, we asked Spry, what’s the business case for MLB putting on the All-star game – aren’t they forgoing revenue from every team that could be playing over the All-star break?

The players need a break. Playing a 162 game season is a lot of work and it puts a lot of stress on players’ bodies. As Twins fans know too well, the vast majority of major leaguers are not All-Stars. Most baseball players get a vacation for the All-Star break. It doesn’t make sense to add even more games to the long 162 game baseball season.

Do you agree with the opinions of professors Wendt and Spry? Was last night’s late-night fireworks display too high of a cost for your well-being? Let us know in the comments.

Death and the Afterlife

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 9:14am

Death and the Afterlife? I thought to myself, with uncharacteristic hesitation. Is this really the topic I want to spend my semester studying?

In February 2014, I found myself seated with 20 other students who had likely asked themselves the same question. Yet despite fleeting reservations and a lot of careful thinking about what I could learn from a class focused on what humans don’t know and can’t prove with science, I was convinced that this was the place to be.

I also knew that taking this class would help me in a practical way, by opening up a dialogue about death, which until that point, was unfamiliar to me.

What I didn’t know is that Dr. Terry Nichols’ course would teach me how to live, and live well.

We stared inquisitively at the front of the room, waiting for his first words.

“Good afternoon!” Dr. Nichols bellowed with gusto and self-assuredness. We murmured awkwardly. He tried again, with a hint of impatience at our failure to echo the courtesy. “Good afternoon!” he said, louder. We answered, startled. He commanded our attention, and I immediately appreciated his style.

We began with a get-to-know-each-other activity, weaving through the rows and sharing names, majors and year in college. After a few minutes, we finished and looked up at him expectantly. Dr. Nichol’s surveyed the room, as if to say, “My turn.”

“I have cancer,” he said. He went on to explain that he might have to miss some classes after chemotherapy. Then he moved on to the syllabus. Not only was this declaration nonchalant, it was unusual to the extreme, especially given the topic of the course.

This is incredible, I thought to myself. How can someone battling for life right now stand before us and discuss mortality?

The following weeks answered that question. Dr. Nichols was an extraordinary man with extraordinary courage and a passion for knowledge. He was consumed with curiosity about the world around him, and he simply had to share it.

We studied world religions, and how the cultures associated with them handle death. We read countless chapters on everything from Buddhist monks to Jewish burials, from pilgrimages to Mecca to the properties of grace. There were memoirs about near-death experiences and recorded interviews from theology scholars. We pondered purgatory and discussed how to die well. We asked questions about science and its compatibility with faith.

Yet what sticks with me was our first book, Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie. In it, Morrie, a brilliant professor much loved by his classes for his spunk and charm, is reunited with one of his former students, who is now hardened by the world and searching for meaning in life. The two sit together week after week as Morrie dies from ALS, a debilitating illness that results in degeneration and paralysis of muscle. In one final “class,” they discuss the big topics in life.

As a class, we worked through the text, page by page, discussing the various themes and ideas, but Dr. Nichols dwelled on one theme longer than the rest.

“The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live,” he read to us from his usual spot, perched on the edge of his desk in the front of the room.

He paused, looking up at us. “What do you think?” he asked, an intense expression on his face. At the time, I was unsure. While my classmates had a few ideas, our collective understanding of Morrie’s wisdom had a long way to go.

On April 12, a month before the end of the term, Dr. Nichols died.

More than a teacher, he helped me understand that the ultimate goal of this life is to be constructive; value every moment and simply love the people around you. His own life was an example of how to acknowledge our brief time here and make the most of it.

In pondering our own mortality, we discover how to live fully and love wholeheartedly. When we die, our “mission” is complete; we have loved and contributed.

At the time of this writing, the semester still presses on. And I am changed for the better. Dr. Nichols and his passion for seeking the truth will have an immeasurable impact on the lives of 21 students who had the courage to join him on this exploration of death and the afterlife.

Ask any one of us, and we’ll tell you that it was life-changing.

By my own definition, he has loved and contributed, in so many ways. And he will be missed.

In the last chapter of his book, Death and Afterlife, Nichols writes, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor death, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-9)

Because of Dr. Nichols, I’m convinced of that, too.

Read more from St. Thomas magazine.

Annual Lighten Up! Garage Sale Raises over $31K for Area Non-Profits

Carleton College Campus News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 4:29pm

Carleton's annual Lighten Up! Garage Sale raised a whopping $31,923 over the weekend, with proceeds of approximately $10,600 being given to each the Northfield Special Olympics, Project Friendship, and the Northfield Union of Youth (The Key). "We had a record year...despite our challenging circumstances," noted Kelly Scheuerman, Program Director for Civic Engagement Pathways. The popular annual sale typically takes place during Carleton's reunion weekend, but this year's event was postponed due to campus flooding caused by the Cannon River.

MCA presents 2014 Summer Dance Intensive Showcase

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 11:08am
WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will present the Summer Dance Intensive showcase at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Valéncia Arts Center Academy Theatre, 1164 West 10th St. The showcase, which is free and open to the public, features works that the students participating in the Summer Dance Intensive have

Taking gaming to a new level

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 8:00am
John “J.J.” Williams ’00 can tell you that the mouse has clout. After 10 years in the video game design industry, Williams can drop lots of respected and recognizable names in the gaming world; he’s worked on Mortal Kombat and Rockband, titles that resonate with more than a few avid players. “I have to say

International Student Program Growing Under Leadership of Thomas Allen

Concordia University Campus News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 6:48am

After only one year of working at Concordia University, Thomas Allen, Director of International Student Services and winner of CSP’s 2014 Leadership Award, has helped increase the university’s international student population from four to 115.

This impressive increase is thanks to Allen’s personal method of introducing international students to Concordia.

“I take a person-centered approach, really focusing on individual relationships across borders, across cultures, across languages and seeing commonalities, but also really valuing differences in others,” Allen explained. “I’ve developed fantastic relationships with each student.”

Since international students come from diverse cultures with unique communication styles, Allen has to utilize a variety of communication skills paired with his excellent cultural competence to connect with students. Sometimes this results in insightful and amusing conversations, such as when Allen asked an international student where they received a caramel apple sucker.

Allen had asked about the sucker expecting to receive a direct answer and perhaps get a sucker as well. However, the student, coming from Saudi Arabian heritage, interpreted the statement differently and replied with a 7-8 minute explanation of how he attained the sucker, including two detailed trips to Target.

“Right when he started on the story I realized that we were using two different communication styles,” Allen said, noting that the student used a circular communication style common to his country. “It’s enjoyable to then stop and kind of acknowledge those differences and bring them out into the open to explore what they mean and learn more from them.”

Allen focuses on helping students transition smoothly into campus life. One way he does this is by regulating immigration compliance issues with SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) to ensure that students fulfill US regulation requirements so they can study without legal interference. He also manages student enrollment.

He works with students from seven different countries, including Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the Bahamas, Korea, Qatar and the United Kingdom.

“Each day feels as though I’m studying abroad,” he admitted. “It’s really fun to leave home in the morning then really immerse myself in a new world.”

While he continues to learn about Concordia’s international students and their cultures, Allen encourages students and staff to do the same. He emphasizes that since the world is becoming increasingly globalized, it is important for both traditional and international students to learn how to work alongside each other and overcome their language and culture barriers.

“Don’t jump to any type of assumptions but use very descriptive questions to interact with your fellow classmates,” Allen advised Concordia’s students, “You’ll continue to learn just as much in the classroom as you will learn out of the classroom through these interactions.”

Adjunct Faculty Union Election Ballots Due Friday; Sullivan Urges ‘No’ Vote

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:01am

St. Thomas adjunct faculty members face a Friday, July 18, deadline to decide whether to be represented by a union, and President Julie Sullivan is urging them to vote “no” in favor of a speedier, more collaborative process to address their concerns.

Under a “yes” vote, St. Thomas and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 294 would begin a process on a collective bargaining agreement that would cover about 300 adjunct faculty who teach undergraduate classes. It could take a year or longer to reach an agreement, based on experience at other universities with SEIU contracts.

Sullivan believes direct collaboration would be a faster and more efficient way for her administration and adjunct faculty to work together, without the involvement of a union that is not familiar with the university’s mission, community and culture.

“The more I talk to adjunct faculty, the more I am convinced that we can work together to resolve the issues,” she said. “We have had many constructive discussions over the last six weeks. I have a better understanding of their concerns, and we will begin work immediately to address them if the vote is ‘no.’ ”

Sullivan said her opposition to a union has nothing to do with money or avoiding cost increases but is centered on the impact that collective bargaining would have on St. Thomas’ ability to hire the best teachers. She wants the freedom to provide multiple contracts, depending on an individual’s course loads, needs and interests, and to hire adjunct faculty who embrace and contribute to the university’s mission. She also fears she will lose valued adjunct faculty who have told her they will not continue to teach at St. Thomas if there is a union.

Trust is the Key

In a letter to adjunct faculty last week, Sullivan reiterated her pledge to work directly with them if a “no” vote prevails.

“It boils down to one word: trust,” she wrote. “I trust you, and I ask only that you trust me – to live up to my words and to work with you. I will because I believe it is the right thing to do. I will because my reputation is on the line. I will not risk losing my credibility with you, as well as with our full-time faculty and our Board of Trustees, by doing anything else.”

Sullivan said she expects that improvements to adjunct faculty work terms and conditions would remain in force beyond her presidency.

“Faculty contracts, annual pay increases and benefit policies can be institutionalized without a union contract and would be difficult to undo without demonstrating financial exigency,” she wrote. “Similarly, new structures for adjunct faculty ‘voice’ and input would be difficult to dismantle without the consent of those involved and the provision for a replacement structure.”

Sullivan said the progress made on adjunct faculty issues during the spring semester, before SEIU filed the election petition on May 23, “was just the beginning. We can do so much more.” Adjunct faculty participated in strategic planning discussions, and an oversight committee recommended that Sullivan establish a committee to develop policies related to their work. The university approved $200 per-course raises for College of Arts and Sciences adjunct faculty, effective in September, and free access to the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex for all adjunct faculty.

“Please vote ‘no’ on union representation,” she concluded in her email, “and let’s get back to work to protect and enhance the quality of education that we provide to our students.”

A St. Thomas website is updated regularly to provide information about – and resources related to – the issues and the voting process. Sullivan has shared her perspective during six adjunct faculty forums and various communications, including a video emailed to adjunct faculty earlier this month.

Ballot submission deadline

Election ballots, which were mailed July 3 to the homes of adjunct faculty, must be received in the downtown Minneapolis office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by 4:30 p.m. Friday to be valid. Ballots will be counted July 21, and the majority of votes cast will determine the result.

Ballots should be mailed to, or dropped off at, the NLRB office at 330 Second Ave. S., Suite 790.

Twin Cities Campus Turns 30

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 12:57pm
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and its Twin Cities Campus has come a long way since Professor Emeritus Marilyn Frost, Ph.D., first arrived in 1985. Sharing her perspective from the inaugural days of the campus on Park Avenue in Minneapolis, Frost spoke to faculty and staff about the evolution of Saint Mary’s Schools of Graduate

Passion for sales and dogs lands grad premium Purina gig

St. Kate's Campus News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 12:15pm
Our first Friday Feature of recent grads highlights fashion merchandising major Dominique Staupe ’13. More »

Alumna wins 2014 Lindy Boggs award

St. Kate's Campus News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 8:00am
Denise Miller '89 was honored for her work as an advocate for occupational therapy. More »

CSP Hosts Youth Baseball/Softball Players During MLB All-Star Weekend

Concordia University Campus News - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:31am

Concordia University will host more than 100 youth baseball and softball players participating in the sixth annual Jr. RBI Classic during MLB All Star-Week, July 10-15. CSP is providing housing and meals for all the players and staff, who are coming to the Twin Cities from Canada and around the United States.

The teams, part of MLB’s Reviving Baseball in Inner cities (RBI) program, will play a friendly, round-robin tournament on fields throughout St. Paul and Minneapolis, including nearby Dunning Field.

As part of their All-Star experience, the young participants will help give back by packing meals for families facing hunger with Kids Against Hunger, an international humanitarian food-aid organization whose goal is to end world hunger by providing nutritious food to hungry children and families in the United States and 60 countries around the world. The teams will be putting together the meals on Friday, July 11, at the Gangelhoff Center.

More information about the Jr. RBI Classic can be found here.

Open House at Oakdale Center

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 5:38pm
Whether you’re looking to advance your career or you’d like to complete that bachelor’s degree, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and its Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs can help you reach your goals. Saint Mary’s University offers a variety of programs that are affordable and at convenient locations throughout Minnesota. Visit the bachelor completion

Gusties To Shine at Minnesota Fringe Festival

Gustavus Campus News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 2:54pm

The cast of CIRCULATE (Photography by Annie Galloway ’15)

With more than 165 shows performing five times each on 19 stages across the Twin Cities area, the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival, one of the largest in the nation, looks to be even bigger than last year’s record festival. Through it all, Gustavus theatre and dance and music alumni, along with current students and faculty will play a major role in the 12-day festival. Scheduled in theaters, dance studios, and concert halls from July 31 through August 11, this year’s Fringe Festival will include nine performances written, directed, choreographed, danced and acted by Gusties. Tickets, additional information, and venues for each performance are available at the Festival’s website.

Nine shows with Gustavus connections are known to be a part of this year’s festival. The Gustavus-connected shows selected by the Fringe lottery to be a part of the annual festival range from drama to musical theatre, comedy, dance, and a category called “Something Different,” and will shine a very bright spotlight on the quality and range of talent we’ve come to expect from graduates of the Gustavus departments of theatre and dance and music.

The Gustavus-connected performances for audiences to look for are:

  • CIRCULATE
  • THE HISTORY OF MINNESOTA – UNSCRIPTED
  • GRAY DUCK
  • ENTRE NOSOTROS (BETWEEN US)
  • THE JUNGLE BOOK
  • STRANGETALK
  • BANG-BANG, MISS AMERICAN PIE
  • ON THE MOVE
  • FLUSHING NEW YORK

CIRCULATE:  “From the hive-mind that brought you the 2013 Audience Pick Clocked comes a new creation, Circulate, a wacky wink into the weird world of news. In an age of buzz feed, gossip columns, and satirical TV news programs,Circulate shines a spotlight on how we create and relate to news media. Guittar Productions devises dance/comedy/physical theater hybrids, hailed by critics as: “a raucously comedic experience”, “magic from the mundane”, and “an exuberant and entertaining mixture… great energy from a young company.”

The directors and cast for Circulate include Renee Guittar ’12, Sarah Jabar ’10, Benjamin Kolis ’12, Rush Benson ’13, Rob Ward ’14, Julio Zelaya ’12, Jordan Bergman ’15, Megan Myhre ’11, and Thalia Bea Kostman.

Tickets & Schedule

Circulate will also be presented in Jussi Björling Recital Hall on Sunday, Sept. 28 as part of the 2014 Gustavus Artist Series. Tickets will be available online at gustavustickets.com after Sept. 1.

THE HISTORY OF MINNESOTA’S Maggie Sotos ’09 and Brandon Boat ’08 (Photography by Jim Robinson)

THE HISTORY OF MINNESOTA — UNSCRIPTED: Brought to you by the same actors who founded the Gustavus improvisation troupe LineUs, The History of Minnesota — Unscripted begins with the premise that “Minnesota has a reputation for being a nice place. But one peek into state history reveals 10,000 tales of intrigue not fit for a church basement supper. Five historians take the stage to tell some of the best TRUE tales of state history you’ve never heard. The twist? The cast of improvisers will bring the historical stories to life through completely unscripted comedy theater. What happens when Minnesota’s historical characters—gangsters, madams, movie stars, and politicians—go through the improv comedy machine? Find out at The History of Minnesota, Unscripted! The stories told are those of historical figures Patrick Coleman, Richard Rousseau, Wendy Jones, Doug Hoverson and Lori Sturdevant.

The cast, from The Theatre of Public Policy, includes Brandon Boat ’08, Tane Danger ’07, Andrew Haaheim ’09, Maggie Sotos ’09 and Jim Robinson.

Tickets & Schedule

GRAY DUCK: A new play, Gray Duck, by Gustavus Professor of Theatre and Dance Amy Seham, will be her seventh original script to be presented at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. This year, the new company, Market Garden Theatre, has commissioned the play in collaboration with Wolf’s Mouth productions. Inspired in part by Ibsen’s Wild Duck, the new play depicts four recent college graduates who wrestle with love, work, and the meaning of life in the millennium. With humor and sympathy, the play follows a young idealist, a disillusioned composer, a radical artist, and a computer nerd, as each character confronts his or her own “life lie.” Gray Duck is co-produced by Gustavus alumnus, Ethan Bjelland ’12, who also appears in the play, along with recent alumna, Connie Boatwright ’14.

Tickets & Schedule

ENTRE NOSOTROS cast Jordan Klitzke ’10 and Melissa Herrada

ENTRE NOSOTROS (BETWEEN US): Including performances by 2010 graduate Jordan Klitzke and fellow dancer/choreographer Melissa Herrada, Entre Nosotros is an “original dance/theater, Mexican/US, Spanish/English collaboration where two strangers uncover the beautifully complex relationship between language, culture, and each other.” Speakers (and lovers) of any language will connect with the joys and struggles of being in this foreign place.

Tickets & Schedule

BANG-BANG, MISS AMERICAN PIE: Produced by Forgotten Goddess Productions and written by Cristina Florencia Castro,Bang-Bang features Comfort Dolo ’14, who will play the “Personification of America” in this dark comedy about America, the sex lives of Habitat for Humanity volunteers, and that feeling of not knowing who you are or what the hell is going on.

Tickets & Schedule

STRANGETALK is a physical theatre piece described by the Fringe Festival as “a new, wacky show, based on our experiences of everyday (mis)communication. Mime, acrobatics, and clowning bring these characters and vignettes to life, along with electronic compositions, foreign languages, 80’s style dance, and other talents from the cast.” Strangetalk is directed by Thalia Bea Kostman and choreographed by Renee Guittar ’12. The large cast includes dancer Jordan Bergman ’15.

Tickets & Schedule

THE JUNGLE BOOK: This Top Hat Theatre production turns the Rudyard Kipling children’s story into an appropriate for all ages musical theatre comedy for this year’s Fringe Festival. Featuring recent grad Rob Ward ’14 as King Louie, The Jungle Book encourages you to “Stomp on down to the Seeonee Hills Jungle for a magical, musical, energy packed adventure! Join Mowgli, Baloo, King Louie and friends as together they discover the true meaning of family and the cherished value of love.” An adaptation from Kipling’s novel and Disney’s film, Rob calls it ” 3 quarters Kipling and 1 quarter Disney” and it’s appropriate for all ages.

Tickets & Schedule

ON THE MOVE

ON THE MOVE: A large Gustavus cast brings the Ogren-Dehn production of the dance On The Move to the Intermedia Arts stage for the Fringe Festival. “We are spending time in transit: waiting, pacing, on the move, going somewhere. This movement-based show dances through space in jazz, tap, and modern while keeping the rhythm of time on the go.”Directors and cast for On The Moveinclude Hollie Edlund ’13, Rachel Johnson ’13, Sophia Ogren-Dehn ’13, Johnny Bates ’14, Max Beyer ’12, Dan Burnett ’13, Teige Cudahy ’13, Kelsey Hanstad ’14, Allie Kalkman ’14, Erin Simon ’12, and Isaac Edlund.

Tickets & Schedule

FLUSHING NEW YORK: The University of Minnesota’s Rarig Center Thrust stage is the site of the third original Fringe Festival show written by Kevin Bowen ’83, who is joined in this venture by his wife, Lynn Pierson Bowen ’82. Bowen describes Flushing New York as “a comedy about two brothers (and their wives) who work for the same plumbing company in Manhattan, but root for different baseball teams during the 1955 Subway Playoffs.”

Tickets & Schedule

Scheduling information and tickets for all 169 shows included in the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival are available online on the Festival’s website. All tickets are priced at $12 and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Watch this site for additional performances including Gustavus theatre and dance alumni and current students. Updates will be made as additional information is received.

169 shows. 5 performances each. 19 stages. 12 days. Enjoy the Fringe!

###

Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Matt Thomas
mthomas@gustavus.edu
507-933-7510

From Plant to Paint

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 9:31am

In the middle of what many dubbed the worst winter ever, a botanical oasis resided in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center gallery in the form of delicate works of watercolor, fused glass and ink by a collection of artists. Among the pieces was a brilliant purple dahlia that stood out from its placement on a blank brick wall. The artist who created it counts it among her favorites.

“I really like this composition,” said St. Thomas sophomore Anna Rosenthal. “I feel like it captures the flower more with how radiant and bold it is.” She would know. Rosenthal spent more than 40 hours examining the live plant while re-creating its likeness in watercolor.

Those 40-plus hours represent a process of many steps. As a botanical artist, it is important that Rosenthal thoroughly understand every nuance of her specimen. Before she begins a sketch she first studies the plant to learn where it grows, its habitat and color. Then she begins “building up” the colors through a meticulous layering process using watercolors. The result is a well-defined and sharp final image.

Any process that takes this much time requires a great deal of patience and persistence, traits that come along with maturity often reserved for seasoned artists. For Rosenthal, it’s something that comes naturally.

Curator and art history professor Shelly Nordtorp-Madson said Rosenthal’s work inspired the exhibition. “It is finely tuned and far above her age in its sophistication,” she said. “Her sensitivity toward the details of each leaf and feather is moving.”

Rosenthal has had a passion for nature for as long as she can remember. Her mother, Tami, shared her own love of the outdoors with Anna and her brother, fellow St. Thomas student Daniel Rosenthal. “I took them out on picnics all the time,” she said. “We’d go exploring with a pad of paper. Anna was always drawing what she saw, even early on.”

As a child, Rosenthal particularly enjoyed drawing animals. Her backyard was a source of curiosity and inspiration. When she discovered a caterpillar egg, she examined it daily until the day it began to hatch, according to Tami. When a caterpillar emerged, she named it Katie.

“Eventually, Katie became a monarch butterfly and Anna would study the details of its wings and go to paper to try to draw it,” said Tami, who also remembers when her daughter asked for a photo of a moose. “She came back five hours later with this perfectly detailed drawing of just the moose’s head,” she said. “Every single detail was there, every hair.”

Because of her methodical level of focus and precision, the budding artist found it unfulfilling to work within the confines of the art classes at her school. “She started to get frustrated in about sixth grade,” Tami said. Teachers we so impressed with her ability that she wasn’t getting the feedback she wanted. “They said, ‘this was good.’ But it doesn’t look like a leaf. I want it to look exactly like a leaf,” Tami recalled her daughter venting.

Tami began researching options for art classes outside of school. She Googled every term she could think of related to nature and art and came across a class on how to draw trees. The class was only available to aspiring artists who were at least 18 years old. Her daughter was 14 at the time.

“Botanical art is intense,” Tami said. “You have to have a lot of patience. Children usually aren’t mature enough to have that level of patience.” She continued to search for a place where Anna could learn.

Tami, who has a background in elementary education, eventually found a match with the Minnesota School of Botanical Art. “They welcomed her and made her feel at home,” Tami said, noting that despite her daughter’s age, staff at the school offered to “take Anna under their wing.”

Her first classmates were four women in their 40s. But the age disparity didn’t matter to Anna. She had found a place where she could flourish and where she would be challenged. “Anna was happy when they would critique her so she knew what she could work on,” Tami said.

The teenager impressed the staff and the school’s director, Marilyn Garber, who had never seen someone so young interested in botanical art.

The connection she made with Garber, an accomplished artist herself, opened many doors for Rosenthal as a burgeoning artist. By age 16, her first watercolor painting was exhibited at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts botanical art show. At 17, she had the opportunity to travel with a University of Minnesota biologist to Costa Rica, where as an intern she created 45 scientific illustrations of leaves for a field guide to be used in the Guanacaste National Park.

Rosenthal had discovered her niche. But amid the excitement of her budding talent, there also were difficulties.

When she was in high school, difficult circumstances resulted in struggles that often meant Anna and her mom having to move frequently. And there were times they did not always have a solid source of physical or financial security, which took a toll on them.

It was during those tough times that Rosenthal would return to the one thing that remained constant. “All the hard things I’ve gone through in my life – art has been the one thing that I can go to and just release everything,” Rosenthal said. “I find so much peace in it. It’s therapeutic.”

She also credits her faith in God as a true source of strength. “I know that my artistic abilities are a gift from him,” she said. “He has proven faithful to work all things together for my good, providing for me every step of the way.”

Her struggles helped Rosenthal develop a remarkable level of maturity. Her academic adviser, Art History Department chair Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell, recalled meeting her for the first time on an admissions visit. He was impressed with her sense of practicality that seemed beyond her years.

“It is unusual that a prospective student is so well-informed about the opportunities in the St. Thomas curriculum,” he said. He was particularly struck by Rosenthal’s interest in creating an individualized major in scientific illustration, something he says there is a great need for. “It’s becoming harder and harder to find people who do it; it’s just not something people are training in.”

To help pay for her education, Rosenthal has sold several of her pieces. According to Tami, her daughter is very conscious of how difficult it can be for artists to generate an income, particularly when they are just starting out. “She doesn’t want to accumulate a lot of student loan debt,” Tami said.

As for her future, Rosenthal is hopeful that what she is learning as a college student will prepare her to launch a career as an artist. By pairing St. Thomas coursework with additional classes at St. Catherine University, she has declared a major in studio art, with an emphasis in graphic design. “I want to use college as an area where I can learn things that will help me later in life, or that I might not have the opportunity to do otherwise,” she said, understanding that classes in business and digital image manipulation will give her skills that will allow her to work independently as a freelancer.

According to Stansbury-O’Donnell, the liberal arts approach is one that will serve Rosenthal well in her profession. “She’s got a direction, but she’s not limiting herself,” he said, noting that her potential is enormous. “She’s able to create her own path. It may have twists and turns, but she will adapt and respond creatively.”

Tami recently moved to a permanent home in a rural setting where Anna will have a dedicated room to work. Friends who live on nearby hobby farms have space for her to explore and create. “I feel like inspiration is everywhere around me. I love picking things to paint that are meaningful,” Anna said.

For Tami, her daughter is the inspiration. “It’s wonderful when people can do what they love. She is good at making the world a beautiful place.”

Read more from St. Thomas magazine.

Saint Mary’s string camp students to perform public concerts July 18-20

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 2:50pm
WINONA, Minn. — Through Saint Mary’s University’s String Camp — held on campus July 13-20 — students ages 12-18 will work on developing their skills and musicianship to master many important aspects of string playing in the contemporary era. Throughout this eight-day camp, participants will have the opportunity to work closely and intensively with Saint

<i>Free Press</i> Features President Bergman

Gustavus Campus News - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:19am

President Rebecca M. Bergman

The Mankato Free Press and education reporter Amanda Dyslin recently featured President Rebecca Bergman with a front page story in the paper’s Tuesday, July 8 print edition. President Bergman became Gustavus Adolphus College’s 17th president and first female president when she officially began her tenure on July 1, 2014.

Here is an excerpt from the story:

Tuesday marks one week since Rebecca Bergman took over as the 17th president at Gustavus Adolphus College, and already she’s been working earnestly at getting to know her now second home.

Every day she has tried to drive up a new side street on her way to campus, a bit of daily morning homework to acquaint herself with St. Peter neighborhoods. On campus, she’s been busy doing everything from learning about summer renovation projects to choosing new carpeting for the president’s house, where she plans to live on weekdays.

Bergman — whose family home is in North Oaks — has also been taking lots of campus tours.

“The best part was when I took a campus tour with one of our student tour guides, so I could understand how a prospective student would be exposed to campus,” said Bergman, 57, the first female president in Gustavus’ 152-year history.

With a background in biomedical engineering, Bergman’s career bucket list didn’t include being a college president. But having gotten to know Gustavus both as a Board of Trustee member, as well as a mother of two Gusties, she said she couldn’t be happier with her new path.

“I really have felt that this is a calling,” said Bergman, who was a senior executive at Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc. “I talked about the fact that this wasn’t in my master plan, and yet here I am, and I’m thrilled to be here. I want to affirm that at every step of the way. I’m here to help this college be as excellent as it can be and true to its mission.”

The entire story can be read online.

###

Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Matt Thomas
mthomas@gustavus.edu
507-933-7510

Pain Is A Battlefield

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:15am

On Feb. 21, 2011, U.S. Air Force Capt. Mitch Kieffer ’07 was riding in the third SUV of a four-vehicle convoy when it was ambushed on the outskirts of Baghdad Province. The explosive that ripped through his truck left him with compression fractures in his spine and a traumatic brain injury.

Now, chronic back pain and headaches are a way of life for the Purple Heart recipient. A member of the highly selective Air Force Triathlon Team from 2008 to 2010, Kieffer, 29, keeps pain and depression at bay, in large part, by pushing his physical limits as a multisport athlete.

Last May, Kieffer not only conquered his pain but also the Ultimate Champion title in the 2013 Warrior Games, hosted by the U.S. Paralympics. The highly competitive event pits 10 specially selected members of each branch of the U.S. military against each other in a pentathlon-style competition. To win the title was a remarkable achievement. Not only because the title is considered the most prestigious and competitive of the games but also because an airman hadn’t nabbed first place since the games began in 2010.

Kieffer’s road to recovery has tested his endurance, but his endurance athletics have given him the patience and perseverance to stay the course in the longest, unfinished pursuit of his life to date – a life free of pain.

‘God was on our side that day’Kieffer, who had overseen more than 40 similar missions without serious incident, was in the fifth month of his six-month deployment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the day that changed his life.”I was an Air Force guy in an Army uniform,” he told the Air Force Print News Today last year. Attached to the Baghdad Resident Office, Kieffer had volunteered to be an operations officer for the Army. His job was to plan and execute “a lot of movements to different project sites. We were there to build police stations, hospitals, telecommunications centers and tank facilities for their (Iraq’s) army.”

En route, “We were attacked in the middle of nowhere,” Kieffer remembered. “When we’d go to rural sites where there’s a higher chance of danger we’d usually take MRAPs (mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles), but they were in the shop that day, so we were stuck in lightly armored SUVs,” which are enforced with thin steel and bullet-proof glass, and can only protect against small bullets.

He and several other men − British contractors and Army personnel − were en route to a construction site when three of the four vehicles were directly hit by detonated IEDs (improvised explosive devices), RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) and small arms fire. Kieffer’s vehicle took the biggest hit. An EFP (explosively formed penetrator IED) tore through his side of the truck. It traveled two feet in front of his forehead before punching through the other side of the truck.

An EFP is a more aggressive type of IED, which emits an intense blast wave along with copper fragments in a focused direction. Kieffer’s up-close-and-personal definition is more poetic: “a lot of high-explosive bomb material behind a dinner-plate-shaped copper dish. The explosive-shaped charge turns the copper dish into a slug of big ol’ bullets that slice through armor like butter.”

The force of the explosion knocked out Kieffer for a few moments. He came to, still dazed, in a haze of smoke and to the shouting of his fellow troops. The interior was “in shambles.” Lights had dislodged. Wires hung from the ceiling.

The assault, however, had only just begun. “There were two IEDs that seemed to go off simultaneously. The first was a conventional IED on the first vehicle, while the second was the EFP on our vehicle. Both were direct hits to the center mass of our vehicles due to the adversary’s use of passive infrared technology. But that was just step one in their attack,” Kieffer noted. “Step two was numerous RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades), and when they were done with those, 10 to 15 men with AK-47s started spraying us with bullets.”

By Kieffer’s account, a mix of God and luck helped the team get out alive. Both RPGs that fired at Kieffer’s vehicle missed their target. In the aftermath the team discovered bullets embedded in the bullet-proof glass “exactly where they were sitting,” Kieffer recalled. Somehow all of the men in the convoy survived. All of the SUVs were able to make it to a checkpoint about a quarter mile away − where they changed some flat tires from the incident − and drove two hours “back to friendlies” without breaking down.

‘Able-bodied’

To the naked eye, there is nothing about Kieffer’s physical appearance to suggest he is a combat-wounded veteran. With his lean and muscular 170-pound build, Kieffer powered his way to the top of the Ultimate Champion podium at the Warrior Games, held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

More than 250 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans participate in seven sports during the games (archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field and wheelchair basketball). Athletes represent the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Special Operations and the United Kingdom.

For the Ultimate Champion title, Kieffer had to outscore nine other service men and women – two selectively chosen from each military branch as their best bets for taking home the title. The men and women competed in their respective divisions in five events: 50-meter swim, 30-kilometer cycling road race, 100-meter sprint track, 10-meter prone air rifle shooting and shot put, earning points in each discipline.

Kieffer scored two medals during the tournament: a silver in the shooting and a bronze in the swim. He finished fourth in the men’s bicycle open event and the swim, seventh in the men’s 100-meter and eighth in the shot put. Kieffer said he was proudest of his shooting medal, as he “practiced when I could, but I picked up that air rifle gun less than 10 times.” He also was the first from the Air Force to medal in shooting, placing a fraction behind first place, beating all Army, Marine and Special Forces competitors.

He competed in the “open” division, which means he is “abled-bodied,” or not missing any limbs. The others he competed against were like him, with invisible war wounds: post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and cancer survivors.

“Able-bodied,” however, is a relative term. Since the explosion, Kieffer has suffered from debilitating back pain and headaches. There is no “finish line” in sight. He endures.

“Every day is a battle. The monotonous visits for therapy, surgeries, specialty care and everything else I have to do while continuing to have quality of life while trying to hinder pain and cognitive issues can be exhausting,” he admitted. “But I need to keep calm and patient. I’m not going to just give up on my life and dreams.”

Immediately after the explosion, Kieffer knew something was wrong, which doctors at the base in Baghdad confirmed when he was the only one from the convoy to fail a preliminary TBI test. After two weeks on bed rest in Iraq, he was medevaced to a medical center in Landstuhl, Germany, where, after two more weeks, doctors determined he “couldn’t be fixed,” he recalled.

He suffered mood swings. His patience dwindled. And he “felt rough cognitively,” he said. “Everything was clouded because when your brain’s not working correctly and you understand it’s not, it overwhelms you. I felt like Forrest Gump for awhile. They’d be trying to joke with me and I’d sit there with a blank stare. My processing speed was extremely slow. I’d have to break down their message, think about how I felt, how I wanted to respond, then I’d have to formulate my response. It would take me a long time to answer the simplest question, like ‘How are you?’”

Just prior to sustaining his injuries, the Air Force informed Kieffer of his next assignment: get his master’s degree in operations research/applied mathematics. Initially the assignment was a source of anxiety; he worried that his stunted cognition might be permanent. His fear wasn’t unrealistic. The first months of the 18-month postgraduate program were painstaking, especially his courses in statistics, which once had been his forte. But his inner athlete wouldn’t let him off the hook. “Doing all those mental workouts (class assignments) helped train my brain how to work again. At first the assignments took me seven hours to finish, then six, then five … after a year and a half, they were taking me two hours tops, and I graduated with an A- average.”

Kieffer’s now an operations research analyst for Air Combat Command. In layman’s terms, he explained, he “analyzes the best ways for the U.S. Air Force to maintain readiness to fight future wars within budget constraints. … I have to look at many different courses of action, project future needs and supply mathematical evidence for those choices.”

Charting a new course

Kieffer made a big change in his life during his senior year at St. Thomas: He stopped playing for the football team so he could train for Ironman Wisconsin, a long-distance triathlon held in Madison every September. The blast of a cannon at 7 a.m. sharp sends 3,000 athletes on course to complete 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of road cycling and a marathon (26.2 miles) in under 17 hours.

A self-described “sprint-power athlete” in his youth − including shot put, pole vault, basketball and football in high school − Kieffer began his training with no endurance-sport experience. “At that time I hadn’t ever swum more than 200 yards, hadn’t biked since I was 10 and the only time I had ever run over a mile was at boot camp for the Air Force,” he said.

The shift was set into motion when he learned his best friend’s mother had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. “I was recovering from a series of football injuries at the beginning of my senior year, and things were looking good, but then my friend Brian Keeler’s mother, Anne, was struggling with her illness so I totally switched gears. I skipped my senior year, and I don’t regret it. I’d do it again any day of the week,” he said. Kieffer trained 13 to 18 hours a week for seven months in honor of his friend’s mother, transforming from a 190-pound strong safety to a leaner, faster triathlete.

Swimming, biking and running suited him, and he dove into all three sports wholeheartedly. Within four years he had competed in nearly 50 triathlons, and running and cycling races, including the 2009 Tallahassee Marathon in Florida, in which he crossed off an item on every serious runner’s bucket list: a sub-three-hour finish time – 2:57:55, to be exact, a Boston Marathon qualifying time.

Unfortunately, his friend’s mother died 10 days before the Ironman race for which he had fundraised – but she would instill in him an endurance athlete’s spirit that would help him push through the (literal) pain of the dark days ahead.

Living with pain

While his cognitive faculties have shown marked improvement, managing his chronic pain requires a litany of regular treatments. “I just started getting Botox injections into the head and neck,” he said. “That’s helped decrease the pain, but my sleep is still disrupted because I feel pressure like I’m hanging upside down, so I’m taking Lunesta now.”

Kieffer estimates that he spends between 30 and 40 hours in hospital clinics every month. “I’ve been offered to go under the knife but with very little hope of success with a very invasive surgery and a six-month recovery. Weekly, I go under sedation and get trigger-point injections via needles. I’ve had 10 to 15 nerve ablations, which means they burn your nerve endings. They can only do that to you every six to 12 months. I’ve tried nerve blocks, acupuncture, chiropractic therapy and all kinds of physical therapy. I’ll have Botox injections to my head and back indefinitely. And my doctors are going to try an epidural block on my spinal nerves.”

He soon will visit a spine surgeon in Washington, D.C., “to fish for opportunities” to move beyond pain management toward a viable cure.
In addition to the clinic visits, Kieffer devotes two hours, usually at the end of each day, to pain management at home. He uses a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) unit on his back as much as possible. TENS units provide therapeutic pulses that stimulate nerves and relax muscles via electrodes that are applied to the afflicted part of the body. His wife, Ana Maria, and his daughters, Ana Paula and Ana Cristina, are also incredible sources of support, he said.

“My three girls were heaven sent. They came into my life shortly after returning from being wounded and gave my life hope.

Kieffer trains with his daughter, Ana Christina, in Virginia Beach.

I thank God every day for the love that I feel from all three of them,” he added. Ana Maria tries to help any way she can.

“Mitch is one of the strongest guys I have ever met, but the pain takes him down sometimes. I give him a massage every night before bed so he can rest better,” she said.

Ana Paula helps keep the mood bright while cracking jokes and having intellectually stimulating conversations, while Ana Cristina joins in with physical therapy and pain-reducing activity.

Kieffer remarked, “I don’t know where I would be without all three of my girls. They all have an angelic persona to be able to put up with me and all of my faults, trials and tribulations.”

Euphoria and motion: the greatest painkillers

Kieffer’s one-word mantra, it seems, is “euphoria”: a state of well-being and happiness. Paradoxically, “euphoria” implies a state of bliss, free of pain − a state Kieffer has not known since the attack. He repeatedly uses the word − the antithesis of depression, pain and misery − to describe any array of things or experiences that brings him joy or relief from pain.

His stance on cycling, his favorite sport, most compellingly captures the transcendent quality he ascribes to athletic pain: “I love the ability to put my head down and hammer, putting myself in an immense amount of pain and agony. There is something euphoric about that type of suffering, and anytime I can do that in a race, knowing I’m making someone feel that same pain, if not more, is empowering.”

Kieffer also noted that now, more than ever, he buys into the philosophy that “a body in motion stays in motion,” as his orthopedic spine surgeons emphasize that low-impact exercise helps to increase blood flow to compressed discs in the spine, which leads to pain relief and/or healing.

“If you’ve had chronic pain and been knocked off your peak, it’s easy to succumb to anxiety and depression. It takes away your spirit and your hope. You can get in a really bad place. … I’ve been to that place and have to fight every day to stay out of it,” he said.

Three years into his injuries, doctors have told Kieffer that they only are able to manage his ailments, at least for the foreseeable future. The frustration in his voice when he speaks of his ongoing recovery is palpable. To achieve euphoria, he must stay in motion, relentlessly propelling himself into the unknown:

“I feel the euphoria of working out. But if I stop being productive then it gets much worse because the pain defines you and it owns you and you feel like you have no freedom or control over your life. When I’m training, I don’t feel the pain as badly because I’m thinking about something else. I want to get on the bike and hammer and feel the burning in my legs versus the back pain. I want to test myself to see how hard I can go.”

A race without a finish

To be a competitive athlete is, by some stretch of the imagination, an act of defiance. Athletes defy the average human’s natural drive to take it easy on a daily basis, willing their bodies out of bed early to train before their minds can tell them “No.” They push themselves physically and emotionally through intense discomfort and fatigue, their sights zeroed in on a goal or finish line they believe to be somewhere in the distance.

Any endurance athlete will tell you that as much as he loves to race, after all the hours of labored breathing, road rash, bloody blisters, burning muscles and chafing on parts of his body he didn’t think was possible, often the finish line is a welcome respite, the prize for his hard-fought efforts. Chronic pain has placed Kieffer on a course that lacks the promise and reward of such a finish.

But he found a silver lining in the Warrior Games. “The Warrior Games keep the athletes’ competitive drive going. When you’re dealing with chronic pain, you’re dealing with a whole lot of emotional issues, and that can hurt you more than any of the physical pain,” he said. “It’s so important to have something to strive for, and the Warrior Games give you a reason to get up and compete with people who have gone through the same things, and just do something besides feel sorry for yourself.”

U.S. Air Force Maj. James Bales, who competed with Kieffer on the Air Force Triathlon Team, hand-picked Kieffer to represent the Air Force in the Ultimate Champion division “because I truly believed he would win,” he said.

“I have always been impressed with how Mitch is able to get the job done, and always with a smile on his face. Soon after taking the reins as head coach of the Air Force Warrior Games team, I heard of Mitch’s injury. I’ve known sports are an integral part of his life and wanted to reach out to him, not only for his athletic prowess but because of his motivational and inspirational attitude and impact his leadership would have on the other athletes,” Bales added.

Spoken like a true endurance athlete (and personal trainer for the past decade), Kieffer motivates himself and his clients to “embrace pain like a lover.” The hard life lessons he learns on the bike, on the pavement or in the pool spill into all areas of his life: “Those who shy away from pain and quit when it starts to hurt will find it more difficult to adapt to adversity. When a job gets tough, or a relationship gets hard, the quitting mentality, finding an easy way out, is not an option. Embracing the pain and fighting through it works counterintuitively, ultimately improving quality and purpose of life.”

The next Warrior Games begin Sept. 28, 2014, and Kieffer has set his sights on defending his title.

Read more from St. Thomas magazine.

Alumnus Matthew Hewitt’s Passion for CSP Drives Creation of Innovative Donor Tool

Concordia University Campus News - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 8:58am

Concordia University, St. Paul alumnus Matthew Hewitt’s willingness and desire to find others who share his same passion for CSP ultimately led to his selection as the recipient of the Creativity and Innovation Award as part of the 2014 Concordia Staff Performance Awards.

Hewitt, who works in the Office of Advancement as Prospect Development Analyst, helped create (with assistance from Melissa Stepan and  Staci Poole) Concordia’s Affinity Rating System, a system unique to the university that is changing how CSP views donors.

The Affinity Rating System measures three key aspects of Concordia’s potential donors: a person’s capacity to give, proclivity (the likeliness that they will give when able), and thirdly (and unique to The Affinity Rating System) the probability that they will present their gift to Concordia rather than another organization.

“The system has gained a lot of recognition outside of Concordia for its helpfulness,” Hewitt said.

Since creating The Affinity Rating System, Hewitt has given multiple presentations on the system within and outside Concordia University. He has spoken to CSP’s Board of Regents as well as the Advancement Committee. Outside of Concordia, Hewitt has presented the system to Minnesota Alumni Professionals (MAP), the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement-Minnesota Chapter (APRA-MN), and the Association of Lutheran Development Executives-North Star Chapter (ALDE-NS).

Hewitt, of Bloomington, Minn., earned his bachelors in Theology in 2009 and had planned to attend seminary training, but decided to pursue a master’s degree in Organizational Management, earning his MA in 2011. Hewitt continued his studies while employed at Concordia, earning his MBA in 2013, making Hewitt what he calls a “triple alum.”

In 2010 Hewitt accepted a job at CSP, working with the Office of Advancement and completing gift-data processing as Advancement Assistant. He now manages the university’s prospect research, prospect management, and fundraising analytics operations.

While Hewitt is not serving Concordia he uses his administrative and leadership skills to serve WHEREhouse Church.

“I love Jesus and I am really involved with our church plant here in St. Paul,” Hewitt stated. “I think that is a key part of who I am and how I describe myself.”

Hewitt works as WHEREhouse’s Congregational President and is responsible for the church’s business operations.

In his spare time, Hewitt enjoys supporting the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Team.

“Come October, if the Cardinals are in the playoffs, I hang my Cardinals flag in my cube to spread the love of the Cardinals,” Hewitt said. “I catch a lot of flak for it up here in Twins Territory, but I think a lot of Twins fans are just jealous.”

Whether he is working or embracing spare time, this 2014 Innovation and Creativity Award winner uses his skills to support organizations and people as a steward of Christ.

News from Nairobi

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 8:00am
By James Chege Librarian Maryknoll Institute of African Studies Editor: Father Michael C. Kirwen, Director Second Three-Week Immersion Program On Tuesday, June 17, the second and final immersion program of the academic year began. The session welcomed a host of returning students as well as six new students. Of the new students, three are U.S.

Twin Cities Campus to host open house July 15

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 6:12am
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will host an Open House from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15 at its Twin Cities Campus. All are invited to attend the event, but especially individuals who are interested in pursuing bachelor’s degree completion or advanced degrees offered in Minneapolis. “We have offered
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