Recent News from Campuses
WINONA, Minn. — For the 28th consecutive year, the Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation has financially supported the i.t.a. Literacy Clinic at Saint Mary’s University. This year’s generous grant of $75,172 will enable the clinic to continue to provide one-on-one reading, spelling, and writing intervention for area K-12 students who are struggling in literacy development.
The i.t.a. clinic served 56 Winona-area students during the past academic year and an additional 40 young readers last summer.
A major benefit of this grant, according to Dr. Jane Anderson, director of the i.t.a. Literacy Project and the clinic’s founder, is that it helps not only these young readers, but also Saint Mary’s University education students at the undergraduate and graduate levels who gain valuable skills and experience through working at the clinic.
Last year 46 tutors served in the i.t.a. Literacy Clinic. These included primarily pre-service teachers in Saint Mary’s Elementary Education program and teachers in the Saint Mary’s Master of Arts in Literacy Education.
Anderson started the clinic in 1988 and has seen tremendous success. Students who can’t read easily use the “initial teaching alphabet” as a phonetic alphabet, designed to make the early reading process much easier. There are only 26 letters in our traditional alphabet, but there are 44 sounds. The i.t.a. alphabet has 44 symbols, so children can more easily write any word in their speaking vocabulary and can learn to sound out words much quicker.
The clinic is offered at Saint Mary’s Winona Campus four days a week through the school year and four weeks during the summer. The free clinic is possible, in large part, due to the ongoing generosity of the Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation.
Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation President Keith Bub said the foundation has been a proud supporter of the Saint Mary’s i.t.a. Literacy Clinic largely because of Dr. Jane Anderson. “Saint Mary’s wouldn’t have the wonderful program they have without her tireless efforts,” he said. “We have many successful programs, including Saint Mary’s. The people who teach in our programs are very passionate about their love of children and their desire to help them succeed.”
Photo caption: Cindy Nava, a 2013 Saint Mary’s graduate who is now teaching at San Miguel Middle School in Chicago, works with Broden Conrad, an i.t.a. Literacy Clinic student.
Last summer, St. Olaf College student Vanessa López ’17 spent time in Barcelona studying alongside renowned Colombian-born soprano Patricia Caicedo.
This summer, she’s creating a website that brings the Latin American music she studied to a broader audience.
Working alongside St. Olaf Professor of Music Nancy Paddleford, who specializes in Latin American music, López is designing a website that will include Latin American music recordings, English translations, a note on the meaning behind the songs, and information about individual composers.
“I’m creating the website to expose people to the wonderful music of this region,” López says. “It’s not well-known because there is no easy access point, and this website will enable people to have that place where they can enjoy all the Latin American art song music that they want.”
López, a member of the St. Olaf Choir and president of the St. Olaf Student Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, is pursuing this project as part of the St. Olaf TRIO McNair Scholars program, a graduate school preparatory program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and sponsored by St. Olaf since 2007.
López, who is majoring in vocal music education and music elective studies in Latin American and Iberian vocal music at St. Olaf, received funding from the Johnson Family Opportunity Fund that enabled her to spend last summer in Barcelona under the tutelage of Caicedo and others, including highly acclaimed Brazilian tenor and musicologist Lenine Santos.
She was one of only four students selected from around the world to study with Caicedo, whose program is typically reserved for established vocal performers.
López first met Caicedo when the famed soprano came to St. Olaf in 2014 to give master classes and lectures in Latin American and Iberian vocal music. That experience prompted López to apply for the program in Spain.
The two-week intensive program offered classes in an array of different areas, all designed to increase participants’ overall musical knowledge. Several hours of classes in vocal literature, history, and diction filled most of López’s time in Barcelona.
She also worked with linguists to learn to speak a range of different languages, including Brazilian Portuguese, Catalan, and Spanish, in order to be able to sing the songs that she was learning about.
López’s experience in Spain culminated in two performances — one of which was held in the prestigious National Library of Catalonia — that enabled her to showcase both her singing talent and the language skills she learned during the program.
“The most enjoyable experience of being in Barcelona was being able to collaborate and work with musicians from all over the globe to present beautiful music in two final concerts, some of whom have become lifelong friends that I still am in contact with,” she says.
López continues to use the connections she made in Spain to track down and translate the music for her website.
“I am in constant connection and utilize resources from both Dr. Caicedo and Dr. Santos to aid in the creation of the website,” she says. “They help me in finding scores, performances, and granting access to digital libraries.”
Despite studying Iberian music under Caicedo and Iberian music being a component of her major, López decided not to include music from Spain and Portugal as part of the website. The reason?
“Most composers from Spain and Portugal are more well-known worldwide and their music is more easily accessible and found compared to Latin American composers,” she says. “Only a select few Latin American composers are known worldwide, and others are not known at all.”
She’s hoping her website will help change that.
A recently released report, “Wake Up Call! Understanding Drowsy Driving and What States Can Do,” cites research about the sleep habits of college students that was conducted by University of St. Thomas professors Roxanne Prichard and Monica Hartmann.
The report was funded by a grant from State Farm and can be found online here.
According to the report, more than a third of U.S. adults report sleeping less than the optimal amount, which means more than 80 million sleep-deprived people are in the workplace, at school and on the road. The report found that of the 328,000 “drowsy driving crashes” on U.S. roadways each year, 109,000 of them caused injuries and 6,400 resulted in fatalities.
Also according to the report, lack of sleep mimics blood-alcohol concentrations. Going 21 hours without sleep is equivalent to a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit in all states. Going 24 hours without sleep is comparable to a 0.10 level.
Prichard is an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience and scientific director of St. Thomas’ Center for College Sleep. Hartmann is a professor of economics.
The “Wake Up Call” report cited the professors’ 2014 study that found that the negative impact of poor sleep on student grade-point averages is equivalent to the impact of binge drinking and marijuana use. Their findings are discussed on Page 13 and Page 14 of the 73-page Governors Highway Safety Association report.
The “Wake Up Call” report summarized the professors’ findings: “The problem is acute on college campuses nationwide. More than two-thirds of college students report experiencing excessive drowsiness, more than a third fall asleep in class at least once a week and more than half [56.8 percent] get enough sleep to feel rested at most only three nights a week.”
We asked the experts (Gustavus students and alumni). They answered, with good ideas, total surprises, and the totally bizarre. (Dentist chair?) If you’ve never been to college before, or have never been to Gustavus for college before, here’s what alumni suggest you pack in your suitcase/duffle bag/cardboard box/knotted bedsheet for Move-In Day.
Pool noodles or tennis balls for bedposts
You read that right. Slice a pool noodle—those long, floppy, floatable sticks you use for pool play—and wrap it around your bedpost. Lofted or not, “When you run into your bedpost, it doesn’t hurt as much,” says Kristen Eggler ’19. Old-school alternative: “We used tennis balls,” says alum Julie Mead Wells.
Pre-made medicine kit
Pack it with ibuprofen, bandages (especially odd-shaped ones), gauze and medical tape, cough drops, cold and flu meds, tweezers, antibacterial and hydrocortisone cream, and a thermometer. You’d be surprised how great it is to have it when you need it, especially a thermometer. Says Gustavus mom Kathy Dornon, “Kids call home and say, ‘I’m sick,’ but Mom doesn’t know with what without knowing if they have an elevated temperature.”
Small tool kit
A hammer and a screwdriver, particularly. Danielle Rae ’09 brought a multi-bit ratcheting screwdriver: “It was always in use. Always. In. Use.” While you’re at it, throw in a roll of duct tape and some high bond glue (Super glue, Krazy glue, etc.), though you cannot hang décor with either. (See below.)
Alumni and students alike mentioned over-the-door shoe holders, which can hold so much more than shoes, like gloves and mittens, cleaning supplies, an umbrella, and dryer sheets. That also goes for vertical closet organizers that hang from closet rods. Other suggestions: a tension rod for adding space to closets, and storage bins for under beds that have been raised on risers. Kasey Dumonceaux ’19 has a great suggestion: multiple shower hooks hanging from a regular hanger, “for hanging smaller clothing items such as tank tops, scarves and belts. Multiple items can then be put onto one hanger and save a lot of closet space.”
A fan and a nice, warm parka
No explanation necessary, and you can probably figure out when to use which.
Cleaning supplies, particularly cleaning wipes
You’re going to make a mess so do what your parents taught you to do and clean it up.
Personalized décor, and 3M hanging strips for hanging it
Make your room homey with the things you love—photos, posters, a cool (and helpful) lamp. Says Ali Jo Hoffman ’17, “The best thing is that if you don’t like it, you can change it! It’s your room!”Also great: a dry-erase or bulletin board for your dorm room door. Bring 3M hanging strips to hang it all because duct tape is not allowed.
And now for something completely different.
Take it (to college) or leave it (at home).
- A dentist’s chair. Dunstan Pennell Sheldon ’75 brought one sophomore year. “A talking point and handy for studying in.” Makes sense.
- Those pillows that double has a kind of half-chair. “They’re perfect if you like to work on your bed,” says Devyn Wallem ’18.
- A mini sewing kit. “There were multiple times I needed to quickly stitch something up,” says Erin Leigh Wells ’19.
- Baking utensils. “There were many times when I would be baking with a couple friends in the dorm kitchen and we would meet new people because they were attracted to the smell,” says Laura Mahowald Thompson ’10.
- “A jar full of candy,” says Matthew Blackwell ’18. “It was a way to meet people fast.”
- A mini fridge. With or without a freezer—the jury’s out.
- A robe. For your roommate’s sake and the sake of your floormates.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
Professor of Dance Janice Haws-Roberts left her full-time professional dance career in 1994, when she accepted a teaching position at St. Olaf College. Yet for the last 22 years, Haws-Roberts still considered herself a dance performer.
Age and the will of the body, mind, and spirit have a way of catching up with us all, and it has come to the point in her professional life where Haws-Roberts is facing the end of her performance career. She is creating an introspective dance performance that encapsulates the feelings she has when faced with this inevitability.
The piece, Approaching Winter, will allow the audience to see a lifelong dancer come to terms with aging and performing her final concert. Haws- Roberts will perform the dance on September 8 at 11:30 a.m. and September 9 at 7 p.m. in the Wagner-Bundgaard Studio One in Dittmann Center.
Haws-Roberts received funding to create the piece from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund made possible by the voters of Minnesota.
How did she come up with the idea for a performance about aging — a topic that many people are uncomfortable talking about and that requires a performer to showcase their own vulnerability?
“When you look at the arts, it’s not uncommon to see an older person on stage, or an actor or even a musician. For dance, it’s simply not the same. So I began to think about the disparity between dance and the other forms,” says Haws-Roberts.
Her own relationship with being a dance performer is tinged with different emotions. Despite a career that enabled her to travel and perform all over the world, there is some pain — a result of the immense strain that dance puts on the body. Those conflicting emotions will be on view in the performance.
Haws-Roberts used her sabbatical this past year to ready the performance and also hone the meaning of the piece.
“It’s been a really interesting process. I wouldn’t say it was completely joyful; it was very difficult — lots of tears,” she says. “It’s been a learning process, coming to face-to-face with some really difficult topics such as my own aging process and maybe a nervousness about facing who I am now as a performer as opposed to who I used to be.”
With choreographer Keith Johnson, she has produced a melancholic piece that takes into consideration her own physical limits caused by a professional dance career that has spanned almost 30 years. Yet there are experiences that come with such a long career that Haws-Roberts can draw upon for the emotive performance.
“There are parts of this piece that I could not have performed when I was younger, because I did not have the life experience,” she says.
Haws-Roberts is hoping that the dance will foster a wider conversation around the topic of aging and the discourse that surrounds aging.
She has collaborated with the local Arcadia Charter School and Northfield Senior Center to bring together different generations to watch the September 8 performance. The September 9 performance will be open to a general audience, and admission will be free.
Immediately following each performance, there will be a discussion about aging that will encourage attendees to ask questions about the piece. Additionally, they will be able to able share their own thoughts on and experience with aging.
The Line, 2011 alumnus Mike Berg’s first children’s book, follows a simple black line through life as it encounters the joys and sorrows of color, sound, vision, and feeling.
Once upon a time, I made a line.
It was simple, straight, and fine.
There were others like it,
But this one was mine.
The book began as a poem that Berg penned in 2010 while traveling between Saint Mary’s University and his hometown of Owatonna, Minn., and depicts a simplified, yet universal, concept of life.
“I created The Line to be something that everybody can relate to,” Berg explained. “It’s meant to be universal, yet personal to each reader.”
Berg’s mother is a librarian, so he grew up around children’s classics, such as Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. Berg was particularly drawn to Silverstein’s simple, yet powerful illustrations, and this inspiration is apparent in his own book.
“The writing was easier than the drawings,” Berg said. “It took a long time to establish the illustration style, but I was attached to the story and thought it was a good idea.”
While Berg’s line does not travel to Saint Mary’s in the story, his experiences on the Winona Campus are very much a part of the book. A graphic design major, he praises the program and its instructors, who actively practice what they teach. Berg appreciated the challenges presented throughout the program.
“You can’t just be taught how to design; you have to sit down and do it,” Berg said. “The lab was always open, so I spent a lot of time there on the computer learning the software.”
Berg gave several copies of an early version of The Line to his mother, who read it to grade school students. The children enjoyed creating their own lines, which is one of Berg’s goals for the book.
“The book has an open ending with extra blank pages for readers to draw, add on to the line, and make up their own,” Berg said. “I would love to have people submit their drawings online and create a sequel with their creations.”
Berg has surpassed his fundraising goal on Kickstarter to cover the expense of printing costs, but says his goal isn’t to make money.
“It’s a passion project,” Berg explained. “I’m hoping this will launch my illustration career so I can go into it full time.”
Like The Giving Tree, Berg hopes The Line will become a timeless book that people of any age can take off the shelf to read and interact with, year after year.
To learn more about The Line or to support the project, visit Berg’s Kickstarter page.
Each of St. Thomas’ alumni has a unique story. Helen Love brought hers – and a little-known piece of St. Thomas history – to the forefront when she attended an alumni event in Denver last December. Her name tag was the first indication: Helen Love ’54.
There was some confusion for the event’s organizers as St. Thomas didn’t become coeducational until 1977 – nearly a quarter century after Love’s purported graduation year. (There was some confusion for Love too; she actually earned her bachelor’s degree in 1957, only 20 years before women were “officially” allowed on campus.)
“When you get your degree piecemeal like I did, it can be kind of hard to keep track,” Love said.
“Piecemeal” is just one of the ways you could describe the story of how Love earned a bachelor’s degree. Another way is “rare”: Love is one of just 60 women who received their bachelor’s degree before St. Thomas went coed, and many of those women are now deceased. Another way is “unknown”: It’s not exactly common knowledge that women were conferred degrees at St. Thomas prior to 1981.
Yet there she was, 85 years old and appearing seemingly out of nowhere because she felt meeting the university’s first female president – Dr. Julie Sullivan – was important. Love represents a group of women who showed why the desire for education should be respected and rewarded. And she brought forward a piece of St. Thomas history that shows how an all-male college helped many women realize their educational aspirations.History of Women at St. Thomas
Dig into the list of St. Thomas’ alumni and you’ll find the names Margaret Burke and Agnes Mahoney, the first two women graduates, earning degrees in science and English, respectively, in 1922. Both their names have a “Sr.” designation in front of them, a common signifier before the names of women degree-holders. It stands for sister: Nuns represent the majority of St. Thomas early female alums.
The opportunity for them to attend St. Thomas was possible thanks to agreements between the leaders of local orders and those at the college. Letters between those leaders document the arrangements that, for several decades, saw nuns continue their education at the all-male school.
“Dear Reverend Father: As our Mother Provincial is planning to have several sisters return from the missions to take up the studies of the next semester, we are again calling upon your kind help in planning the courses,” writes Sister Mary of the Convent of the Good Shepherd to the college’s dean, the Rev. William E. O’Donnell, on July 22, 1947.
“Dear Sister Jane Margaret: Enclosed are official schedule blanks for the registration of nuns from the Convent taking courses through St. Thomas,” reads another letter from the St. Thomas records office to the Convent of The Visitation on May 18, 1956.
Burke and Mahoney were as under the radar as degree recipients can be; officially, 1923 was the first year the college offered classes for any women. A Sept. 28 article from the student newspaper, The Aquin, reads, “A Night School of Commerce has been instituted. … The classes are open to both men and women – to anyone who wishes to develop mentally. This is the first time that anyone but men have come to the College of St. Thomas to attend classes.”
Most nuns took courses through a combination of methods: St. Thomas professors would come to the schools where the sisters taught; the sisters would meet with professors independently, similar to an independent study; and the sisters would attend classes on campus at night and on the weekends. This was still the case when Love, as well as Helen Nalodka (B.A. in history, ’63) and Barbara Peterson (B.A. in sociology, ’58) arrived.
“The teachers were so sweet,” Peterson said. “They were very kind and considerate.”
“You would feel a little bit like an odd duck sometimes [on campus] as a woman, but most times they made you feel very welcome,” Nalodka added. “There was comfort from individual students and the professors were always so kind. I don’t recall a teacher who wasn’t understanding or didn’t do something extra if you needed it.”
St. Thomas launched a Master of Education degree in 1950 that was open to both men and women, so by that time women on campus were a more common sight. More than 900 women would receive their master’s through that program before 1977, the vast majority of them nuns. More quietly, though, the tradition of women collecting their requirements to earn bachelor’s degrees continued on throughout those same years. As Love and Nalodka can attest, it wasn’t necessarily an easy path to take.Work, Work and More Work
After a year at Mankato State, Love joined the School Sisters of Notre Dame and eventually began teaching at St. Francis de Sales in St. Paul in summer 1953. Further education for the sisters fit in well with the convent’s mission, which Love appreciated.
“The School Sisters of Notre Dame, that was their whole thing: They wanted to be good teachers,” Love said. “In the 1950s before high school accreditation and all that, it was allowed [that you taught even if] you didn’t have your degree to teach. We wanted more than that.”
Love attended class on Saturdays and mixed with both men and women, the latter of which were studying mainly for their master’s in education.
Their schedules were perhaps the most difficult thing to negotiate: Love taught both fifth and sixth grade while completing her studies, along with all the day-to-day responsibilities in her order.
“It was hard. Especially when you’re not a seasoned teacher. You had to prepare your classes, spending a lot of time going over that on Sundays for the whole week. Then you [had] to get your prayers in, cleaning duties, other duties. We kept really busy,” Love said. “We got flashlights because our mother would throw the electricity switch [at the convent]. Every night we would beg to stay up later, leave the lights on. She was pretty sure we needed more sleep and she didn’t know how long we’d use our flashlights.Click for a list of notable female occurrences at an all-male college
1922: First bachelor’s degrees conferred to women.
1923: Night School of Commerce opens for men and women.
1948: Mary Keef becomes school’s first full-time female faculty member.
1950: Master of Education program opens for men and women.
1951: Sister Maria Stephen Lamm becomes first female to receive master’s degree from St. Thomas.
1977: Connie Pocrnich is first female student admitted after the college becomes coeducational.
“I know as I got closer [to completing my degree] I was happy to think that even though it looked piecemeal, all the pieces were coming into one quilt, so to speak,” Love added. “I was really happy to have [my degree] completed.”
Nights, weekends and summers also were key for Nalodka, a Toledo, Ohio, native who began taking courses at St. Thomas as a Sister of St. Francis a few years after Love earned her degree in 1957. After taking classes from a St. Thomas professor who would come to where she was teaching – Holy Cross Elementary on University Avenue – Nalodka continued pursuing a history degree with courses on campus in the summer and evenings.
“We weren’t permitted [by our convent] at certain times to go to the library, so I remember I prized Monsignor Nicholas Molter because he gave me lots of books. He and many professors went out of their way to help you,” Nalodka said. “I never really thought about us being coed. We just went along with it back then; you didn’t challenge some of those ideas.”
Both Love and Nalodka continued their educations after they left St. Thomas: Love received a degree in French from Laval University in Quebec and Nalodka earned her master’s in rehabilitation counseling from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Both ended up leaving their orders in the years following the Second Vatican Council, which stirred up many changes in Catholic orders throughout the world. Love continued teaching until she went back to nursing school and worked in health care before retiring in 2005; Nalodka was a counselor, then the director of a senior center before she finished her career working for the state of Ohio.
For both, the opportunities they were afforded at St. Thomas helped launch legacies of lifelong learning that carried them throughout the decades. Nalodka said she loved traveling and learning about other countries, but one stop in particular meant a lot: Her love of Greek history was stoked in her courses at St. Thomas, and in 1990 she fulfilled her lifelong dream of visiting Greece. She spoke at length about the beauty of her experience there, the hanging baskets and rich history she had learned about in her studies.
“Education has always been important in our family,” said Nalodka, whose mother came from Ukraine and couldn’t read or write. “I always have encouraged women to go on to more learning, more education, whatever possible to better yourself. I’m always trying to instill that in my nieces and nephews.”A Lasting Connection
Nalodka hasn’t kept in touch with St. Thomas much through the years; she said she hasn’t been back since her graduation in 1963, but still has her commencement program and pictures from her time here. Love has kept in touch more, returning to campus in 2000 after attending a gathering of the School Sisters of Notre Dame to show her husband, Richard, where she went to school.
“I had no idea how much it had grown,” she said. “When I think back, we were only about 800 students in the ’50s. To hear that you’re 10,000 students now is really amazing.”
The evolution of St. Thomas was a topic of conversation between Love and Sullivan when they met in Denver.
“She felt St. Thomas was a very important part of her own formation, and it’s a joy to see its continued growth and development as an institution in ways she really appreciated,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan later acknowledged Love during her speech in Denver, stating to everyone’s surprise that the oldest alum in the room wasn’t a male Tommie. Learning more about Love’s experience and about others like her further cemented a lesson Sullivan said she’s been learning since she arrived at St. Thomas.
“It was one more example of what I’ve seen over and over since the founding of St. Thomas, and that’s the progressiveness of the leaders here,” she said. “It would have been really easy to say, ‘Sorry, we don’t [teach women],’ but clearly, the leaders at the time said, ‘We are all male, but we understand the need for your sisters to be educated and we want to contribute to that.’ That showed a lot of foresight.”
In a final serendipitous connection, Sullivan was approached last year to speak to the School Sisters of Notre Dame on campus in March, when they came to St. Thomas for a women’s leadership luncheon. Sullivan spoke of the need to advance the common good, a bond that already has been shared between the two groups through those like Love.
“You see things that have happened at St. Thomas throughout the decades under different leaders who have exhibited a lot of vision and foresight. And willingness to think about something differently. [These women getting their degrees] is another one of those examples,” Sullivan said. “It gives you a real inspiration.”
Read more from St. Thomas magazine.
The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) is pleased to be spotlighting the art and research undertaken by both full and part-time faculty in the 2016 MCAD Faculty Biennial. This year some 50 faculty members in the college’s Design, Fine Arts, Media Arts, Entrepreneurial Studies, and Liberal Arts departments will be participating in an exhibition in the Main, Concourse and Black Box Galleries, installing work in the MCAD Sculpture Garden, or presenting papers, film screenings, performances, and readings as part of a Faculty Forum Series.
Concordia University has announced theAthletic Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The eight new members to be inducted this fall are: Paige Dopp (’02, softball), Ted Ihns (’89, football), Brian Jamros (’05, ’08 M.A., ’12 M.B.A., basketball),Joe Peters (’04, football), Jennifer Pozzani (’05, basketball & softball),Erik Quarberg (’06, baseball), Kristen (Schmidt, ’06) Soukup(softball) and Galen Wetzell (’06, baseball).… Read More
Shivering in a tent nearly 15,000 feet above sea level on the side of the highest mountain in Ecuador, Casey Decker ’18 reflected on the unexpected conversation that landed him there.
A few months earlier, Decker was leaving his Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) class when geography professor Jeff La Frenierre casually asked about his plans for the summer. The next thing he knew, the geology major was preparing for a three-week trip to study glacial ice melt and learn about how it will affect water quality and availability in the tropical Andes.
The project is a continuation of La Frenierre’s doctoral dissertation research and paired the Gustavus team with two researchers and a graduate student from the University of Minnesota for the trip, which took place June 21 through July 10.
The research team was based in the provincial capital of Riobamba and took daily excursions to identify proper sites to install new instruments, set up a weather station, collect water samples for hydrochemical analysis, and download data to measure the rate of ice melt and its corresponding effect on stream flow. The group also took a longer excursion to camp on Mount Chimborazo in order to take glacier core samples and install snow monitors.
“Our goal is to determine how much water comes directly from glacier ice and what it will look like as glaciers get smaller and smaller,” La Frenierre explained. “We’re trying to understand how glacial retreat will impact water supply now and in the future.”
The data collected by the team will allow for hydrological modeling so they can visualize how the melting glaciers affect groundwater movement and overland water flow. By taking samples from glaciers, streams, and springs, they are also gaining insight on how the composition of the water might change over time. The team’s overall aim is to understand the many implications of glacial melting and ultimately to provide information that will allow Ecuador’s population centers to adjust policy, development, and planning to best utilize their water resources.
Limited to the materials that they brought on the trip, the team had to be creative in their approach to installing equipment. Several times throughout the project, they visited local hardware stores to buy fasteners and cables they could repurpose to support their instrumentation.
“We had to have an idea of what we were doing but always stay flexible,” Decker said.
That flexibility is a big part of the reason that La Frenierre chose Decker for the trip. “I was impressed by his interest in environmental issues and how serious he was about his studies,” the professor recalled. “But field research is different than being in the lab. You sometimes realize that your carefully crafted ideas just aren’t going to work and you need to adjust on the fly.”
“You learn resilience by being out there and creatively solving problems,” La Frenierre continued. “It was great to take Casey to Ecuador and see him experience a new culture and the difficult research conditions that were thrown at us.”
A native of Mapleton, Minn., Decker is now planning to attend graduate school in geology or environmental studies, a possibility he hadn’t seriously considered before the research trip. At Gustavus, he’s also a starting outside linebacker on the Golden Gustie football team, a Collegiate Fellow residence hall adviser, and a member the Student Athlete Volunteer Educators (SAVE) and Geology Club.
“At Gustavus there are opportunities everywhere, but this research trip was incredible,” Decker said. “I mean, a professor just came up and asked me to go to Ecuador. That doesn’t happen everywhere.”
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
WINONA, Minn. — Galleria Valéncia at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) is featuring an exhibit by portrait artist Mary Singer beginning Wednesday, Aug. 17, and continuing throughout the month of September.
A well-known Winona artist, Singer has worked with a wide variety of visual arts throughout her life. Singer has taught drawing, cartooning, and painting. Her work is comprised of oils, watercolors, graphite, mixed media, and pen and ink. Several of her portraits are on display at Pet Medical Center on Third Street in downtown Winona.
An opening reception with the artist is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at the Valéncia Arts Center. It will run simultaneously with River Arts Alliance’s August Art Schmooze which includes a free talk titled “The Art of Online Marketing”.
The galleria will also be open during regular office hours: Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (as well as while evening and weekend classes are in session).
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support Grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University, is a nonprofit organization, offering programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for youth ages 3 and older through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at the corner of 10th and Vila streets. For more information, go to smumn.edu/mca, email email@example.com, or call 507-453-5500.
Successful Businessman, Lawyer, Generous Financial Supporter
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Paul Meyer’s successful career in law and business can’t easily be summarized. Upon graduation from the University of Notre Dame in 1967, where he served as editor-in-chief of The Law Review, he served as a law clerk to Justice Walter V. Schaefer of the Supreme Court of Illinois. A year later, he served as the senior law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court. For more than 20 years he served as managing partner of the Meyer, Hendricks & Bivens law firm, in Phoenix, Ariz. Meyer also served as executive vice president and general counsel of Eller Media from 1996 to March 1999 and for more than 10 years as president and CEO of the Americas Division of Clear Channel Outdoor, the largest outdoor advertising company in the U.S. During four of those years, he also served as Clear Channel Outdoor’s Global President, with the added responsibility of directing its European and Asia/Pacific businesses, which together with the Americas Division generated annual global revenues in excess of $3 billion. During his tenure with Clear Channel, Meyer pioneered the development of innovative digital billboard networks in more than 30 U.S. markets. He is now serving as president of Digital Sign Services of JCDecaux North America and lives in Phoenix. Sharing his time and talent, Meyer serves on several boards, including the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees. In 2002, Saint Mary’s bestowed an honorary doctorate on Meyer, and the Meyer Conference Suite in Saint Mary’s Hall is named in his honor and in recognition and appreciation of a lifetime of generous financial support. He was given the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2014.
Jack Anderson ’16
Management and political science
Randy Lee ’84
President of McCally-Lee Entertainment
Not a parent, not a professor, but something supportive to help students launch post-college.
That’s how Lee, who has had five Gustie mentees, describes his role. “If the student takes advantage of it, if he or she is not afraid to expose vulnerability, that student can soak so much out of a mentor versus a parent or a professor.”
For student Anderson, he extracted Lee’s seasoned ability to remain focused and grounded on the journey. “It’s a great opportunity to have an alum who’s been in my shoes and can help keep me measured,” Anderson says. Lee, who worked in Fortune 100 environments in sales, marketing, and tech, is now a partner in McCally-Lee Entertainment (with fellow Gustie John McCally ’86). Anderson is an entrepreneur himself, learning early and often.
The two talked weekly about business, marketing, and gleaning all you can from your experiences. They had much in common—values, visions of success, problem-solving strategies—so conversation came easy. “It wasn’t so much him giving me marching orders, it was more emotional support,” Anderson says.
“Participation in the Mentor Program is not for the mentor to put a feather in his or her cap,” Lee says. “In the end, I can guide them, I can push them, I can plant seeds, I can give opinions. The mentee should say, ‘That was time well spent. That worked for me.”
And if it works for both people, the relationship can live on after the mentee’s graduation. “We continue to work very closely together even though we don’t have a formal Mentoring Program relationship now,” says Anderson. “That’s how it works in the real world.”
Would you like to mentor a Gustie?
The Gustavus Mentoring Program pairs a current Gustavus student with an alumni, parent, or friend for a mentoring relationship. They commit to meeting once in person, then on a monthly basis from October through May, whenever and wherever it suits both of them. The student drives the relationship, and there are several resources available to help facilitate conversations on leadership, values, and goal-setting.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin