Recent News from Campuses

DesJardins named Ralph Gross Chair in Business and the Liberal Arts

Joseph DesJardins will deliver his inaugural address at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13 in Centenary Room at SJU.

Business and Social Science Departments host Mock Trial

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 10:19am
The Fourth Annual Saint Mary’s Mock Trial will be held on Tues., Oct. 28 at 3:30 p.m. in the Common Room, Saint Mary’s Hall. In this unique learning opportunity, pre-law students will act as the attorneys in a hotly contested case, which mirrors an actual trial. Students will also participate as jurors and witnesses. The [&hellip

Saint Mary’s to host career fair

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 8:00am
The Saint Mary’s University career fair will be held 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Toner Student Center. All students and alumni of Saint Mary’s are invited to check out 40 local and regional businesses and organizations, network with potential employers and find out what they are looking for in potential interns [&hellip

A ‘Quantum’ Leap to Italy

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 6:08am

Cecilia Gentle, a senior chemistry major at the University of St. Thomas, almost didn’t apply for a prestigious International Research Experience for Undergraduates scholarship she discovered last January a few days before the application deadline.

“I thought, ‘I’m never going to get accepted, so why bother? I’m too busy right now, and there’s no way I can get letters of recommendation, crank out an essay and get this application together in just three days,’” she said. The scholarship is offered annually to 17 undergraduates nationwide by the American Chemical Society. Selected students may choose to research in Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom or Italy.

Cecilia Gentle

But the opportunity was too perfect – you could say down to the nanoscale – to pass up. “It was in the exact field of chemistry that I am interested in – inorganic materials chemistry with an emphasis on energy applications. So when I say ‘exact,’ I really mean ‘exact,’” she said.

Gentle moved quickly – even tracking down a former professor on sabbatical from Anoka-Ramsey Community College where Gentle was a full-time PSEO student her last two years in high school – and was accepted. Six months later she boarded a plane destined for Italy to spend 10 weeks doing the research of her dreams: making quantum dots – tiny, man-made nanocrystals composed of semiconductors (such as silicon) and studying how to make them more efficient solar cells.

Gentle worked 40 hours per week under the direction of Dr. Loredana Latterini at the University of Perugia. Perugia is the capital city of Italy’s Umbria region and located about 100 miles north of Rome. As part of the IREU program, she attended a weekendlong orientation in Washington, D.C., last April and will present a poster on her research in March at the national ACS conference in Denver.

Let there be light

Her day-to-day work entailed mixing and heating organometallic compounds, such as mixtures of cadmium (a heavy metal) and selenium (a mineral found in soil), in a solvent. When heated to 110 degrees Celsius (the boiling point of her solvent) on a hot plate, atoms from both elements bonded together to form quantum dots, crystals imperceptible to the naked eye.

One interesting thing about quantum dots is that they come to life, in (literally) glowing fashion, when exposed to UV light. Because quantum dots are so tiny, they interact with light in a unique way: They absorb different wavelengths of light based on their size.

“The only way I would know that I created something was by shining different wavelengths of light through the flask and watching how the material inside responded,” Gentle said. “For example, if a quantum dot is two nanometers, it’s blue, and if it’s four nanometers, it’s red. It’s amazing. You have two things composed of the same elements, yet one is red and one is blue because they vary in size by two billionths of a meter.”

However scientific and precision-based the process, the dramatic results made her giddy: “I have a technical fascination with chemistry and making sense of big ideas that initially mystify me, but there’s also a childhood wonder aspect to this. In a lot of ways, I spent five days a week in a lab doing what the kid in me loves – making solutions of pretty colors in glass flasks. It was so cool!”

What’s more, Gentle said, is that “if you can control the size of quantum dots, you can optimize the properties, and if you can optimize the properties, you can optimize the efficiency for whatever the electronic application is, like the solar cells you might be using them for.”

Quantum dots glow under ultraviolet light.

Small dots, big contributions

Experiments like the one in which Gentle took part have the potential to make significant contributions to renewable energy, specifically in the efficiency and cost of solar cells, which convert the sun’s energy into electricity.

“The most common solar cells you see on the market now are made using silicon. Even though silicon is an abundant element found naturally in the earth, it has to be made into perfect crystals to be used in solar cells, so it’s incredibly expensive to produce, and it’s also not very efficient,” Gentle explained.

Every day the sun sends a gargantuan amount of energy to the earth that goes unharnessed. “That’s why materials chemistry is a huge deal right now, especially with energy applications,” Gentle said. “We’re all working to make energy more efficient and renewable because our energy consumption is not slowing at all. It’s growing. The outcomes of all this research could help by alleviating our dependence on fossil fuels.”

She also noted that 3M has been using quantum dots in their optics division for use in televisions. Research also is underway for their role in biomedical imaging to aid in the detection of some cancers.

The Italian job

Gentle appreciated the opportunity to work in an international lab.

“I learned a lot about communication,” she said. “It was sometimes frustrating, but I learned a lot from it and the language barrier made me appreciate my technical background. They didn’t have to explain every single thing I’d be doing because I’ve done this kind of work already.”

Cecilia Gentle at the University of Perugia, Italy.

Since the summer after graduating from high school Gentle has worked for a lab in the Horticultural Science Department at the University of Minnesota, where her current project involves testing plants that have antimicrobial and antibiotic properties for Estee Lauder. Last summer she had an internship also synthesizing quantum dots at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Gentle also noted that the pace of Italian culture in the lab took some getting used to. “I got to the lab around 9 a.m. and left around 6 or 7 and took a lunch, which is pretty typical for any lab, but Italian culture is so different. Every few hours I’d hear, ‘Coffee break?’” she said with a laugh. “The rigor in American labs sometimes feels more intense, but in my Italian lab we still got all the work done.  The short coffee breaks would help me give myself a break and be more efficient when I was working. It’s just a difference in culture.”

Over the course of her Italian job, an unexpected chemical change of sorts bloomed. “I developed a taste for espresso, and I can’t drink American coffee now. It’s so watery!” Gentle said. “I really miss Italian macchiatos and cappuccinos.” When her 10 weeks came to a close, her Italian colleagues sent her home with a parting gift: an espresso machine.

 A reluctant chemist

As early as high school, Gentle tried very hard not to pursue chemistry. As her parents and older brother are chemists, Gentle was determined to veer from family tradition.

“Coming from a lineage of chemists, I had always approached problems in a systematic manner, but I was determined to do something different from the rest of my family. I remember during my first semester of college courses [as a PSEO student in high school], my general chemistry professor asked my major and I replied, ‘anything but chemistry!’” she said.

But as the course progressed Gentle was enthralled by the “dynamic demos” in class. By the time she was a senior, her passion for science crossed a point of no return and she never looked back.

Gentle, who is 20, will graduate in May, after three years of undergraduate course work at St. Thomas, with a B.S. in chemistry and minors in mathematics and physics. During her time as a Tommie, she has pursued research opportunities every summer and has been awarded numerous accolades, including a 2014-15 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, one of the most competitive national honors granted to undergraduates pursuing post-graduate work in the STEM fields. This year, St. Thomas’ Chemistry Department awarded her a William D. Larson Scholarship – the highest such honor bestowed by the department and given to students who show exceptional achievement in the field of chemistry and who intend to pursue careers in chemistry, related fields or medicine. She also has been named a Science, Mathematics and Engineering Scholar all three of her years at St. Thomas.

She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in materials chemistry. Though she added, with a little glee, that Italian culture’s knack for good coffee got her thinking about a friend – a fellow chemist – who studied wine chemistry in France for three years. Gentle reminisced about her first project for the University of Minnesota lab  – studying the chemical composition of wine and figuring out how to detect flavonoids – a compound abundant in grapes.

“I wouldn’t mind doing something like that in the future!” she said.


Loma R. Meyer, Longtime Concordia Administrator, Professor, Board Member Passes Away

Concordia University Campus News - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 4:16am

Loma R. Meyer, whose career and contributions to Concordia University, St. Paul have spanned nearly 40 years, passed away Friday, October 24. A funeral service will be on Wednesday, October 29, at 10:30 a.m. at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Roseville.

Loma Meyer's arrival at Concordia in 1967 marked the beginning of a career in higher education as an award-winning professor, director of instruction, dean of the faculty, vice president for academic affairs, and executive vice president - holding several of these positions simultaneously.In retirement, Meyer continued as a member of Concordia’s Board of Regents, serving four consecutive terms from 1994 to 2006, including two terms as board chair (2000-2006).

Regarded by her students and colleagues with admiration, profound respect, and affection, the years of her tenure at Concordia are often referred to simply as "the Loma Meyer era."

"The legacy of the Loma Meyer era continues to impact Concordia to this day," said Dr. Tom Ries, Concordia University President, "Loma Meyer is unquestionably one of the greatest leaders Concordia University has ever had. I feel enormously blessed to have been her colleague and friend."

In 2006, what was then simply called “the classroom building” was renamed Loma R. Meyer Hall in tribute to her lengthy service to humanity and the church through her many roles at Concordia.

Loma is survived by children Miriam (Larry) Heinert and Martin (Cathy) Meyer; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.  She was active as a church organist for several congregations in the Twin Cities and received numerous teaching and service awards during her career.

Memorials preferred to the Meyer Scholarship Fund, Concordia University, St. Paul or donor's choice.

Fit as a Fiddle

Concordia College Campus News - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 11:00pm
Sonja Harasim, assistant professor of violin, plays a fiddle with an interesting history.

Two Alumni Inducted Into USA Bandy Hall of Fame

Gustavus Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:24pm

Former Gustavus Adolphus men’s hockey players Chris Middlebrook ’79 and Chris Halden ’78 have been inducted into the United States Bandy Hall of Fame. As part of USA Bandy Hall of Fame’s inaugural class, Middlebrook and Halden were two of six individuals inducted at a ceremony held Wednesday, Oct. 22 at the Aster Café in Minneapolis. The USA Bandy Hall of Fame will be housed at the Guidant John Rose OVAL in Roseville, training site for the U.S. bandy team.

Middlebrook, who played in 81 games (1977-79) and registered 24 points off six goals and 18 assists under legendary head coach Don Roberts in the late-1970s, serves as President of USA Bandy. A founding father of bandy in Minnesota, Middlebrook was one of the hockey players at the Richfield Ice Arena in December of 1980 when the sport was introduced. Over the past 34 years, Chris has been an ideal representative for bandy as a player, coach, and administrator.

See below for Chris Middlebrook’s complete USA Bandy Hall of Fame Biography

Chris Halden played one season (1977-78) and recorded 14 points (7G, 7A) for the Gusties during his time on the hill. Now the USA Bandy League Commissioner, Chris enters the hall considered USA Bandy’s biggest ambassador over the past three decades. As a player, coach, manager and bandy ambassador, his efforts have provided hundreds of players over the last 30 years the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of playing overseas and playing for their country.

See below for Chris Halden’s complete USA Bandy Hall of Fame Biography

The United States Bandy Hall of Fame was dedicated in 2014 to be America’s bandy showplace to honor the legends of the game who helped build bandy in America through their efforts on the ice, “behind the bench”, or promoting the game.

The USA Bandy Hall of Fame website can be found here.

Bandy is played on an ice surface the size of a soccer field. It is best described as field hockey on skates. Each team is made up of 11 players including a goalkeeper.

The aim of Bandy is to score goals by hitting an orange or pink ball the approximate size of a tennis ball into the opposing team’s net with a curved stick four feet in length. Depending on how the player strikes the ball with the stick, he or she can put a spin on the ball, making it curve, knuckle or dive. The ball has a cork center and a hard rubber cover.

For further information on the sport of bandy and the American Bandy Association, go to


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

Japanese Gardens in North America subject of Art History Lecture

Carleton College Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 3:17pm

The Carleton College Department of Art and Art History will present “Rising Suns in the North: Japanese Gardens in Minnesota” on Friday, Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. in the Boliou Hall Auditorium. Art historian Kendall Brown, author of “Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America” will discuss his book, tracing the local manifestations of this trans-Pacific imagination by examining the rich history of Japanese Gardens in Minnesota.

Carleton Symphony Band celebrates Halloween with “Danse Macabre”

Carleton College Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 3:15pm

The Carleton Symphony Band will celebrate Halloween with a special concert entitled “Danse Macabre” on Friday, Oct. 31 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the Concert Hall. An appropriately “eerie” evening of music, the performance will accompany excerpts from the horror film classic, “The Bride of Frankenstein,” along with other short classic horror films, “all guaranteed to amaze and frighten,” says Symphony Band director Ron Rodman. Halloween treats will also be served.

Carleton presents North Indian Musical Guest Artists, Red Baraat

Carleton College Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 3:10pm

Carleton College is pleased to present a not-to-be-missed appearance by critically acclaimed and very popular music pioneers, Red Baraat. The event takes place on Sunday, Nov. 2 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Carleton Concert Hall.

Carleton to Commemorate ‘Day of the Dead’

Carleton College Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 3:06pm

Carleton College will host a service and celebration on Sunday, Nov. 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Severance Great Hall in commemoration of ‘Dia de los Muertos’ (Day of the Dead). In addition to a religious ceremony, the event will feature food and dancing, and members of the community are invited to bring objects symbolizing remembrance of departed loved ones for a special alter display. This annual event is free and open to the public. 

Carleton Players present Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale”

Carleton College Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 3:04pm

The Carleton Players will present William Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” October 30 through November 2 in the Weitz Center for Creativity Theater, with performances nightly at 7:30 p.m. October 30, 31 and November 1, along with two 2 p.m. matinee performances November 1 and 2. Directed by David Wiles, Performances are free and open to the public. Reservations are encouraged and can be made online at

Award-winning Actress Elizabeth Liang Explores Her Multicultural Background in Convocation

Carleton College Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 3:00pm

Award-winning actress Elizabeth Liang will present Carleton College’s weekly convocation address on Friday, Oct. 31 from 10:50 to 11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. Entitled “Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey,” Liang’s presentation will explore her own multicultural background, asking “who you are when you’re from everywhere and nowhere.” This event is free and open to the public. Convocations are also recorded and archived online at

Four Gustavus Students Begin Student Teaching in Spain

Gustavus Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 2:07pm

Lars Ericson, Emilie Scott, Jessica Ries and McKenna Jones in Sotogrande.

Elementary and secondary education majors at Gustavus Adolphus College have a unique opportunity to travel abroad and fulfill their student-teaching requirements simultaneously. Four Gustavus students—Lars Ericson ’15, McKenna Jones ’15, Jessica Ries ’15, and Emilie Scott ’15—recently arrived in Sotogrande, Spain, to do just that.

While many education majors at Gustavus choose to complete their student-teaching experience near the College or in the Twin Cities, there are other unique opportunities available. While Sotogrande is an option for those student-teaching in the fall, education majors student-teaching in the spring can apply for an alternative domestic site in Barrow, Alaska. The program has been popular among Gustavus students.

“We all felt that this opportunity would be beneficial for us as future teachers because we are able to see another education system as well as learn about other cultures we see in the school,” Jones said. “The school where we are currently student teaching has 44 different nationalities in its student population. After working with such a diverse group of students, we feel that we will be better able to reach our students in our future jobs.”

The four Gustavus students currently in Spain are working at the Sotogrande International School, which is an International Baccalaureate day and boarding school for English speakers. Jones and Scott are working in a P2 classroom, which is equivalent to first grade. Ries is working in a P6 classroom, which is equivalent to fifth grade. Ericson is teaching in M3 and M5 classrooms, which is equivalent to eighth and tenth grade.

Not long after returning from Spain, the four students will begin to think about applying for their first job. Ericson says he is looking forward to teaching high school English in an urban environment or perhaps even internationally.

“I’m passionate about education because I see it as a transformative experience,” Ericson said. “Just as education can so often be a negative experience in a student’s life, it can just as often be liberating and exciting.”

Inside Sotogrande International School.

Scott echoed Ericson’s thoughts and is excited about the chance to impact the lives of young people.

“I truly believe that education is the foundation of our world, and education whether in a good or bad setting can really affect a child’s life,” Scott said. “I want to be a part of that impact in order to build and teach the future leaders of the world.”

Ries said that she had no intention of going into teaching when she first came to Gustavus, but that over time she discovered that the field of education is where she belonged.

“I feel excited everyday going in to schools and teaching and watching my students grow,” Ries said. “It is a very powerful feeling to know that you are he tool for someone’s growth. As a teacher, I can help students reach their potential.”

You can follow Ericson, Jones, Ries, and Scott during their journey in Sotogrande as the group will post frequent updates on the “Gusties in Spain” blog at


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

Minneapolis College of Art and Design Announces 17th Annual Art Sale

MCAD News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:50pm

PDF Version of Press Release

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) announces its seventeenth annual art sale. This one-of-a-kind art sale, held every year the weekend before Thanksgiving, presents art for all tastes.

Fri, 2014-10-24 - Mon, 2016-10-24

read more

Mary Chesney '75 honored for accomplishments in nursing

St. Kate's Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:31pm
Mary Hipwell Chesney '75 was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing during the academy's 2014 annual conference. More »

Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party fundraiser is Nov. 16

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:32am
WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is pleased to announce the eighth biennial Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party, Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St. This year’s Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party will feature two tea sittings (1 and 4 p.m.). Specialty teas and exquisite finger foods [&hellip

Dr. Stephen Zunes to Give Wallenberg Lecture on U.S. Middle East Policy

Gustavus Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 9:49am

Dr. Stephen Zunes

Click here to access the live stream of tonight’s Wallenberg Lecture. 

Dr. Stephen Zunes, one of the country’s leading scholars on U.S. Middle East policy and of strategic nonviolent action, will deliver Gustavus Adolphus College’s annual Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28 in the Nobel Hall of Science’s Wallenberg Auditorium. Zunes’ lecture is titled “The United States and the Middle East: Intervention, Reaction, and Hope for Change” and is free and open to the public.

Dr. Zunes is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he serves as coordinator of the program in Middle Eastern Studies. He serves as a senior policy analyst for the Foreign Policy in Focus project of the Institute for Policy Studies, an associate editor of Peace Review, a contributing editor of Tikkun, and co-chair of the academic advisory committee for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

Dr. Zunes is the author of scores of articles for scholarly and general readership on Middle Eastern politics, U.S. foreign policy, international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, strategic nonviolent action, and human rights. He is also the author of the highly-acclaimed book Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism. He has made frequent visits to the Middle East and other conflict regions, where he has met with top government officials, academics, journalists, and opposition leaders.

Dr. Zunes received his Ph.D. from Cornell University, his master’s degree from Temple University, and his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College. He previously served on the faculty of Ithaca College, the University of Puget Sound, and Whitman College.

The Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Lecture was established at Gustavus in 1983 and honors the heroism and legacy of Raoul Wallenberg whose support of persecuted Jews during World War II saved the lives of many. The lecture is sponsored by the Peace Studies Program at Gustavus.

Click here to access the live stream of tonight’s Wallenberg Lecture. 


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

Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona announces application dates

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 9:09am
WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona program is inviting families in need to sign up for the annual gift-giving program. The program’s main priority is to provide gifts to children 18 years of age and younger and individuals 60 years of age and older. Families will only be able to report [&hellip

19th Century Concept of Irish-Catholic ‘Spiritual Empire’ is Topic of Nov. 6 Lecture

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 8:32am

Historian Irene Whelan of Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, will discuss the concept of an Irish-Catholic “spiritual empire” in a lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in the O’Shaughnessy Room of the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

Irene Whelan

The lecture, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the university’s Center for Irish Studies and the Center for Catholic Studies.

This concept of an Irish-Catholic “spiritual empire”  a belief that the Irish were destined to lead the world back to the Catholic faith  gained huge popularity in the latter part of the 19th century. Though the idea seems preposterous to present-day Catholics, Whelan says, it once was embraced by historians, politicians and churchmen. They looked to both the ancient and the more recent past to justify a view of the Irish as a chosen people.

One of the most enthusiastic supporters of the notion was Archbishop John Ireland, the Irish-born founder of St. Thomas, who made it a feature of many of his St Patrick’s Day sermons. In 1869, for instance, he declared that “Nations, no less than individuals, receive from Heaven a vocation.” According to the archbishop, Judea held this position in the past but “in modern times this high office has been assigned to Ireland.”

This thesis, Whelan says, provided a sense of purpose to a people dispersed throughout the world by forces over which they had little control. Whelan argues that the view allowed for the creation of a virtual “empire of the spirit” to parallel the great mercantile and land empires being carved out by the great powers during the heyday of imperialism.

In the years immediately following the Easter Rising, the notion of the Irish as a people of destiny and a “martyr nation” gained wide currency among those seeking a new identity for an independent country; chief among them were Archbishop Daniel Mannix of Melbourne and Irish President Eamon de Valéra. Mannix termed de Valéra “Ireland’s man of destiny”  an idea that would have profound consequences for the new state, particularly in church-state relations and the anti-modern culture that became a feature of the new Ireland from the 1930s onward.

A native of Clifden, County Galway, Whelan is associate professor of history and director of Irish studies at Manhattanville College. Her research and publications focus on popular religion in Ireland. She is the author of the 2005 book The Bible War in Ireland: The ‘Second Reformation’ and the Polarization of Protestant-Catholic Relations 1800-1840, an account of the evangelical movement and the sources of modern religious and political polarization in Ireland.

For more information, contact the Center for Irish Studies at (651) 962-5662 or email

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