Recent News from Campuses

Hamline Alumni Make Their Mark

Hamline University Campus News - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 12:00am
Hamline students and alumni make their mark in countless ways. The new Make Your Mark campaign captures and shares those stories.

CSB and SJU students visit Minnesota state capitol

Students from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University attended the 2015 Day at the Capitol event Thursday, March 19, in St. Paul.

Expert to speak on implications of the Holocaust for multireligious conversations

Victoria Barnett, director of the programs on ethics, religion and the Holocaust at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, speaks at 4:15 p.m. Monday, April 20 at room 264, Quadrangle Building, SJU.

Carleton Names Emory's Livingston As New Dean of Students

Carleton College Campus News - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 11:48am

Dr. Carolyn H. Livingston, currently senior associate vice president for campus life and Title IX coordinator for students at Emory University (Ga.), has been named Carleton College’s new vice president for student life and dean of students. Livingston replaces Hudlin Wagner, who announced her retirement in September, effective at the end of the current academic year. Livingston will assume her new post June 22, 2015.

Overflow Seating Added for Kramer Book Event

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 10:13am

Overflow seating will be available in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center classrooms for an event Wednesday, March 25, to celebrate the publication of a book about former St. Thomas Dean Bruce Kramer’s battle with ALS.

All free tickets for the 7 p.m. event in OEC auditorium have been distributed, but Rooms 203, 206, 207, 210 and 212 will be open for people to watch and listen.

Minnesota Public Radio News host Kerri Miller will lead the conversation between Kramer and MPR’s Cathy Wurzer, authors of We Know How This Ends: Living while Dying. They will discuss the making of the book, their work together and the life lessons found in living fully through loss.

In addition, the St. Thomas Chamber Singers and Jearlyn Steele, a well-known Twin Cities singer, will perform during the event.

Books will be available for purchase, and a book-signing reception will follow in OEC foyer. Doors to the auditorium will open at 6:30 p.m. for those who reserved tickets.

Kramer was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in December 2010, and he later took a leave of absence as dean of the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling at St. Thomas. He had taught or served as an administrator at St. Thomas since 1996.

Published by the University of Minnesota Press, We Know How This Ends tells of discoveries by Kramer and Wurzer as they documented his struggle with ALS. Wurzer, host of Morning Edition on MPR and Almanac on Twin Cities Public Television, has broadcast 35 reports on Kramer’s efforts to deal with ALS. She since has lost her father to a debilitating battle with dementia.

The book publication event is sponsored by MPR News, St. Thomas, the University of Minnesota Press, HealthPartners and the ALS Association of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

 

 

Career Development Center Helping Students, Employers in a New Age

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 9:45am

Wisconsin native and St. Thomas junior Maggie LoCoco looked back at her own face as a timer at the bottom of the screen counted down.

10, 9, 8…

A few minutes earlier LoCoco had watched a man named Kyle give her specific instructions on what she should do now that she was sitting in front of a computer camera in professional attire.

“Hello, and thank you for interviewing with Kohl’s,” he had said. “We’re going to give you a series of five questions and you will have four minutes to answer each of them.”

7, 6, 5…

Her practice run behind her LoCoco would now record her answer to each of “Kohl’s” five questions, with 30 seconds to prep her response before each one. The first question had to do with how LoCoco viewed team success, but in these final seconds she was experiencing a familiar feeling for first interviews: being quite alone.

4, 3, 2, 1…

“I submitted my responses and thought, ‘Where is this video going?’ Now it’s just out there; that’s so embarrassing!” LoCoco said. “I’m the kind of person in a professional environment that will try to interact and crack jokes, so it was very hard to just say, ‘I think the team is about x, y, z.’ I tried to show my personality, but I think it was more about showing you’re a competent, intelligent interviewee.”

It turned out Kohl’s thought LoCoco was plenty competent and intelligent; the company soon brought her down to Milwaukee for three more rounds of interviews, including a group case study scenario where she and fellow prospective employees had 15 minutes to prepare a presentation.

All of this experience led to the result LoCoco was looking for: Kohl’s offered her a paid internship for this coming summer.

“It was nice to have that set,” she said.

LoCoco’s employment story is one of thousands with as much variety that play out constantly for St. Thomas students: a senior forgoing immediate employment and looking forward to graduate school in California; a freshman returning to his hometown and working at the local golf course; a sophomore sacrificing regular sleep patterns while working through a spring semester with an unpaid internship and washing dishes in the school cafeteria; a junior tending bar at two different restaurants all summer, anticipating the dent those tips will make in her loan bills.

It’s a process that plays out independently for most; it is difficult to pinpoint a commonality across St. Thomas when it comes to employment preparation and experience. The closest someone can come to finding that shared point is on the first floor of Murray-Herrick Campus Center (MHC), at a destination dedicated to helping students make sense of what is often a difficult journey to what they want to do for work. For decades the Career Development Center (CDC) has been a hub for students seeking assistance with their future, and – in a landscape of increased competitiveness and expectations for career readiness – their services are as vital as ever.

“We’re always educating students that there is a process to all this they need to look at and think about,” CDC director Diane Crist said. “There are always steps they can take in their career development, so whenever we can we’re trying to help them identify what their next step is.”

Moving on down, to the south side

Arguably the biggest step recently for the CDC has been a literal one, with a move two years ago from the north side of the third floor of MHC to the south side of the first floor.

“We had a great facility, very nice, but it was pretty tucked away,” Crist said. “We did all kinds of things to get students up there but it was always a struggle. I had one student come up and say, ‘Oh, I thought this was a fire escape.’ That was our main stairway.”

There is no such confusion now, with January marking two years for the CDC on the much heavier-trafficked first floor.

“It has really worked out well and as soon as we were in here it was, day in day out from students, ‘This is such a great space; this is so much better than your old space; this is so handy,’” Crist said. “It’s so much better for employers (there to talk with or interview students), too. I believe this has really helped.”

On top of avoiding a physical case of “out of sight, out of mind,” the CDC also has stepped up its efforts to raise student awareness earlier and more often: In recent years CDC’s staff began presenting at freshman orientation, introducing themselves and putting their services on peoples’ radars right when they arrive.

“’We’re here.’ That’s the biggest thing to get across,” said Jennifer Rogers, who heads the CDC’s employer relations. “The needs in the first year of college are mainly, ‘I’m an undecided major and heard you can help me think about what I may want to major in.’ That’s great, because we’re drawing students that want to connect a future career to what they study in college.”

Whether undecided freshman or panicking senior, Crist said the CDC uses individual assessments to figure out what is best for a particular student at a particular time.

“We are always trying to meet students individually wherever they are operating in terms of their career needs, and trying to move them to their next step,” she added. “Self-assessment is always the foundation. We help students get to know themselves, which happens in many ways.”

Much of the CDC’s offerings, from resume help to mock interviews, center on preparing students to be young professionals. Other times it’s pointing students toward both internal and outside resources, from job fairs to networking opportunities to visits with employers. Still other times it’s simply to be in a student’s proverbial corner of the ring.

“It was good to talk to someone who’s on your side and wants you to do well, but actually knows how all this works,” said LoCoco, who worked with Crist throughout her process with Kohl’s. “It was someone who was excited for you and you don’t have to feel guilty about it. It can be hard to talk to other students about this stuff because everyone’s so on edge about their own internships and jobs.”

More expectations and preparation

As the Great Recession continues to recede into the country’s rear-view mirror, current college students are experiencing an interesting intersection. On the one hand there are increasing job prospects compared to the recent past, on the other an ever-widening pool of fellow college students to compete with. The continued emergence of internships as requirements instead of bonuses is a strong marker that companies – while they are hiring more – expect to bring well-prepared graduates into first jobs.

“The expectation for students to have solid, career-related internship experience has ratcheted up a notch or two from the employer perspective,” Rogers said.

“My expectation was that an internship is a requirement to get a job,” said senior Maggie Hom, who credits her several internships, including one with Best Buy, as a chief reason for her full-time offer from Target last fall. “It definitely gave me a step up on everyone else.”

Crist said the CDC even has heard from some employers that they want two career-related internships from prospective employees. Rogers said more freshmen and their parents have asked about internship preparation in recent years, and in 2013 the St. Thomas Post Graduation Survey more than 60 percent of alumni reported having an internship while at St. Thomas, up from 56 percent in 2009.

“There’s definitely pressure,” LoCoco said. “If you don’t have an internship you’re behind.”

With such a premium on experience, the CDC also helps students get the most out of things they’ve done that may not as clearly correlate to a future position. Whether a leadership position on campus or a waitress job from the weekends, anything students are doing outside the classroom can help their future prospects.

“We call it reflecting on skills. It’s not just, ‘This is how you get valuable experiences,’” Rogers said. “We also want them to understand how you unpack any experiences … and figure out what skills you develop out of this and how you use it moving forward.”

“Now, you have to be so much more well-rounded than you used to have to be,” said Rachel Gordon, the Minneapolis market recruiting leader for PriceWaterhouse Coopers, which has recruited out of St. Thomas for years. “Students don’t always realize that. You have a strong GPA, but there’s so much more involved than that.”

Listening and learning

Strong relationships with companies like PriceWaterhouse Coopers are a huge asset to the CDC for many reasons and – under Rogers – the CDC’s staff goes above and beyond to make sure they are maintained. From its policy of taking representatives out to lunch, to the hosting spaces the CDC dedicates for visiting employers, the message is clear: You and your company are welcome here.

“It’s invaluable to talk to live human beings on a daily basis about their hiring needs, who’s qualified and what they’re looking for,” Rogers said. “We all have to be informed about the trends and what employers are looking for. That’s huge because we see students individually so we can then share that perspective.”

Students also have opportunities to gain perspective from employers when they come to St. Thomas for informational visits, mini jobs fairs, or full-blown interviews for internships and job openings.

“It’s all about, for us, building relationships with students,” Gordon said. “You can’t do that effectively without meeting them in person. We much prefer to put on events and meet people to getting a bunch of resumes and trying to cold hire someone.”

Many companies have hired students out of St. Thomas in the past and had successful experiences, which brings them back for more, Crist said.

“Our alumni are very critical pieces of that,” she added. “They go out and perform well and those corporations come back to try to bring in more students. That’s a healthy process.”

Timeless qualities

Between the steady rise of digital tools for professional presentation (LinkedIn, anyone?) and examples like LoCoco’s of once unheard-of interview processes, it’s clear changes will continue to define the employment landscape. Students may also be asked to have more preparation and experiences to speak to. But by all accounts many of the most important things in 2015 are the things that were the most important in 1915 and will likely be most important in 2115.

“At the end of the day your degree and other things matter, but you can train anyone for a job. The big thing is you just need to work hard. If you can show you work hard, and that’s usually through your experience, that’s going to get you the job,” LoCoco said. “The common trend is always going to be work ethic and being a go-getter.”

“Employers have always appreciated that well-rounded student,” Rogers said. “They appreciate students that have been involved in extracurricular activity. That’s nice you have a 3.9 GPA, and that’s important, but what else have you done?”

Helping students navigate the difficult process of making themselves appealing employees is at the core of what the CDC does, and – when it comes to effectiveness at it – the proof is in the hiring: “We know that students who have used our services once, their rate of being employed after graduation goes up by 16 percent,” Crist said. “And if they’ve used us four times their placement is 25 percent higher than a student who hasn’t used us.”

Such numbers should be appealing to any student, regardless of where they are along their own path.

“Really students can come to us about anything, from, ‘What is my mission and calling in life?’ to ‘What am I good at?’ to ‘Can you look at my resume and help me find an internship?’” Rogers said. “It’s a real scale from deeper thinking and identity issues to how you write a good cover letter. Different students need all of that.”

St. Catherine Women’s Choir announces spring concert schedule

St. Kate's Campus News - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 8:12am
Home concert date set for April 12 in Our Lady of Victory Chapel, after tour stops in the Pacific Northwest. More »

Fan Bus and Tickets to NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament

Hamline University Campus News - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 12:00am
Sign up for the fan bus and tickets to cheer on your Pipers in the NCAA men's hockey quarterfinals on Saturday, March 21 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Watch the game live on the web.

‘Financial Challenges’ Brown Bag Luncheon is March 24

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 9:40am

“Financial Challenges Facing Higher Education” is the topic of a brown bag luncheon presentation March 24 by Mark Vangsgard, vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer.

Vangsard will discuss broader financial issues affecting all of higher education and also will review the university’s 2015-16 budget, approved last month by the Board of Trustees.

The noon-1:15 p.m. discussion will be held in the James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall in the Anderson Student Center on the St. Paul campus, with simulcast to Room 252 of Terrence Murphy Hall on the Minneapolis campus. (The locations have changed since an earlier Newsroom story on the FY16 budget.) Cookies and beverages will be provided.

Mark your calendars for a noon April 9 brown bag luncheon featuring Father Larry Snyder, vice president for mission, and Dr. Calvin Hill, university officer for inclusion and diversity. Snyder will be in James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall and Hill will be in 252 Terrence Murphy Hall.

Depth of Field: Baseball Light Painting

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 6:08am

Ryan Gerber

For a long time I’ve had an idea about shooting some sports photos in the studio that could highlight the poetry of the players going through their motions. For all the usual mundane reasons – time, space, scheduling – I hadn’t gotten around to giving anything a try. But this year, when baseball coach Chris Olean asked for some basic photos showing off his players in their various uniforms for his 2015 schedule poster, everything came together. I’d have time, I’d have players and I’d always figured that baseball, because of the types of motion and the equipment involved, would be the first sport I’d try. This shoot would be an excellent time to get experimental.

We started off in Schoenecker Arena with the group. Uniforms, poses, lights: check, check, check. Then it was back to the studio in Loras Hall for the more in-depth lighting work.

All of the images you see here are simply light painting. You get yourself a completely blacked-out room, set the camera on a tripod and set the shutter to stay open for a few seconds (about two in most of these photos). Anything that emits enough light will paint that light onto the camera sensor, including the track of its movement. Anything not emitting light will remain invisible to the camera.

In this case, we wrapped bats and pitcher Eric Veglahn’s arm in EL wire. We also made a “ball” for Anthony Winters to catch by wrapping a bundle of wire around itself.

The final key was to set up the studio lights on a radio trigger and pop them at the point in the swing or pitch where I wanted the player frozen. Remember: In a blacked-out room only the stuff wrapped in EL wire would record on the camera. So if I wanted the players to show up, I would need to hit them with studio strobes at some point during the two-second exposure.

The process was straightforward, but very timing dependent. Cue the player to swing, use my right hand to open the shutter where I wanted the wrapped object to start recording, use my left hand to fire the radio-triggered strobes where I wanted the player frozen and finally wait for the shutter to close. A little bit of trial and error on the first few shots let me get the exact settings down so the shutter would close just after the player completed his movement. This meant the lighted bat or arm wouldn’t paint any stray light as it was brought down at the end of a swing or pitch.

The results you see here are due to that work and, more importantly, the willingness of Ryan Gerber, Eric Veglahn and Anthony Winters to put up with two hours of wire wrapping and repeated swings, pitches and catches. Special thanks too to Joey Nesbitt ’12 of DrumLite, who clued me into the EL wire when I called him up for advice on string lights. If you want to know more, check out the video below.

Read more from Depth of Field.

CREST intern gains from work with social media campaign

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 8:49am
Allison Christensen ’16 is currently interning for the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) in Washington, D.C. The junior Electronic Publishing major is getting valuable hands-on experience on how to use social media and other digital marketing resources for a real-life project. As the digital media intern, Christensen spends the majority of her time working on a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo [&hellip

Connections, Inspiration and Action Abound at CGI U

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 8:37am

Seniors John Umarov and Julio Vasquez and sophomore Chad Helland joined influencers and more than 1,000 like-minded students at the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) from March 6-8 in Miami.

Umarov, Vasquez and Helland, all members of St. Thomas’ chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World, were accepted to the conference on their idea of producing concentrated solar power for those without access to electricity. Attendees were chosen based on their commitments to create “a new, specific and measurable plan to address pressing challenges facing campuses and communities around the world.”

Through plenary sessions, working discussions, networking events and an exhibition of ideas, these students explored partnerships and met students with similar projects, including a group from the University of Colorado working on their own solar power system to bring electricity to those who don’t have access to it.

“The best part about the experience was meeting the students from around the world,” Umarov said. “Everybody shared the same passion and interest. We met engineers from top universities like Stanford and UC-Berkley and a group from Turkey, with whom we became great friends, and made a point to meet up with each day.”

They heard from leaders in social entrepreneurship, including a Harvard professor, successful student entrepreneurs and the entire Clinton family. One of the sessions focused on the future of energy, a topic that helped Umarov, Vasquez and Helland understand the need for projects like theirs.

“This conference helped us move from the research stage to the development stage,” Vasquez said. “We will be spending more time doing hands-on testing and giving students more experience to learn and grow as engineers. The funding we receive for our project will allow us to order the necessary parts to begin building, produc(ing) power and literally bring(ing) light to people that don’t have it.”

CGI U students spent Sunday working on teams to beautify a neighborhood in Liberty City, a neighborhood with a high poverty level just north of Miami. The teams planted flowers, painted bicycles, built picnic tables and benches, and cleaned up the grounds at a middle school. Vasquez, Umarov and Helland cleaned a baseball diamond, creating a usable space for area children to play.

“It was amazing to see hundreds of people team up to help on one common goal, which was helping the community that had hosted us,” Helland said.

After spending the weekend in Miami, they said the return to St. Paul has them excited for the future of their project.

“I loved how positive and progressive the whole weekend felt,” Helland said. “It seemed like a catalyst for our project in that we were able to make connections with other teams; many were able to give us advice on certain aspects. Attending the conference has affected us in a personal way too. I can definitely say that because of attending the CGI U that I am more excited and driven to meet our commitment to produce concentrated solar power at the residential level for those in need.”

St. Thomas is a member of the CGI University Network, thanks to a commitment made by President Julie Sullivan in fall 2014. As part of that commitment, the team receives $10,000 for expenses and seed money to continue to develop their idea.

Concordia Faculty/Staff Collaborate on Church Leadership Book

Concordia University Campus News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 6:11am

A collaborative group of authors, including a number of current Concordia University faculty and staff, contributed their insights and expertise to a newly published book edited by President Tom Ries and Associate Vice President for University Relations Bruce Corrie titled “Leading with the Spirit, A Handbook on Leadership and Management for Clergy”.

The diverse group of authors President Ries and Dr. Corrie selected offers specific tools on important topics such as discovering the leader within, leading through change, multicultural mission and management, spiritual entrepreneurship, creating a shared vision and strategy, and various topics on the stewardship of organizations.

“The book is a celebration of the talents of Concordia faculty, staff and community partners and the sharing of this talent in the form of tools to help clergy as they lead and manage faith based organizations,”said Dr. Corrie.

Published by Lutheran University Press in Minneapolis, Leading with the Spirit is now available for purchase online.

 

CSP Contributors:

  • Dr. Richard Brynteson – Professor of Management
  • Dr. Cheryl Chatman – Executive Vice President and Dean of Diversity
  • Mike Conner – Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice
  • Dr. Bruce Corrie – Associate Vice President, University Relations and Professor of Economics
  • Jason DeBoer-Moran – Director of Marketing and Communications
  • Dr. Basma Ibraham DeVries – Professor of Communications Studies
  • Michael Dorner – Vice President and Chief Information Officer
  • Dr. Kevin Hall – Dean, College of Business
  • Lu Hang – Board of Regents
  • Dr. Don Helmstetter – Dean, College of Education
  • Dr. Robert Holst – President Emeritus
  • Lonn Maly – Associate Dean, School of Education
  • Renata Mayhofer – Chair of the Department of Business Administration and Management
  • Rev. Dr. Mark Press – Retired, former Director of the Hoffman Institute for Christian Outreach
  • Rev. Dr. Tom Ries – President
  • Dr. Jean Rock – Chair, Leadership and Management program
  • Dr. Michael Walcheski – Associate Vice President of Graduate Studies
  • Erv Weinkauf – Program Coordinator of the Department of Criminal Justice

Student Testifies before MN Higher Ed Committee

Hamline University Campus News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 12:00am
Sophomore Sarah Bliese recently gave moving testimony about the importance of the State Grant program in front of the Minnesota Senate Higher Education Committee.

Hamline to Host 2015 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships

Hamline University Campus News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 12:00am
Hamline will host the 2015 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships at Klas Field June 19-21.

More Accolades for Hamline Men's Hockey

Hamline University Campus News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 12:00am
Tournament-bound men's hockey team received a shout-out from the Minnesota Wild and were featured in a story on WCCO-TV.

Algren solves mysteries of complex data

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 2:28pm
Zach Algren, a double major in Accounting and Business Intelligence and Analytics, plays with numbers for fun. The Prior Lake, Minn., native decided to major in accounting when he discovered that the coursework came easily to him. “And I thought it would be important to know accounting, with anything I did in business,” he said. [&hellip

2015 Hendrickson Forum: The Ethics of Cyber Security

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 12:57pm
Cyber security is the topic for the 2015 Hendrickson Forum at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. In the wake of several high-profile cyber security breaches, it’s a relevant and timely topic for this year’s ethical leadership event. Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and Retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis will present the keynote address. [&hellip

HMML urgently working to save manuscripts in Iraq, hopes for safety of collections in Syria

Through the help of partners, some 8,000 historic documents have been digitized in war zones by the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library at SJU.

Poet Rankine earns national book honor

Claudia Rankine, who was in residency Jan. 27-30 at CSB, receives award for best book of poetry for 2014 by National Book Critics Circle.
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