Recent News from Campuses
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Starting in January, Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center in Rochester will launch a monthly speaker series, featuring presentations on environmental topics impacting the Southeastern Minnesota region. The series will be held the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the lower level of Cascade Meadow, located at 2900 19th St. NW. The events are free and open to the public, and no RSVP is needed.
The first few speakers are all professors of biology at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
Jan. 19: “Climate change impacts to southeast Minnesota fishes” with Dr. Josh Lallaman
The projected rise in surface temperature and precipitation patterns caused by global climate change will have significant effects on fish and aquatic habitats. Projected changes to climate will have negative consequences ranging from trout streams to the Great Lakes. Research from fish movement and temperature selection in Cascade Meadow Lake will be used as just one of several examples discussing the effects on local fish populations.
Feb.16: “Recovery of Henslow’s sparrows at Great River Bluffs State Park through habitat management” with Dr. Ray Faber
Dr. Faber has studied Henslow’s sparrows at GRBSP since 1994 and recommended habitat modifications that were successful in restoring a resident population. Henslow’s sparrows are on Minnesota’s list of endangered species and are found in only a few locations in the state. They have traditionally been found at GRBSP since its establishment, but disappeared in the early 1990s because of deterioration of their habitat.
March 16: “Why are these ants on my plants? A brief exploration of ant-plant interactions” with Dr. Moni Berg-Binder
Interactions between ants and plans are abundant in nature. What are the outcomes of these interactions? Who are the “winners” and “losers”? Explore several different common types of interactions between ants and plants, including several interactions happening in Southeastern Minnesota.
For more upcoming events at Cascade Meadow, please visit our events calendar online at www.smumn.edu/cascademeadow/events/.
FELT ROOM is a collaboration between the renowned BodyCartography Project and Carleton's dance program.
The Mayo Clinic is the ultimate dream destination for those practicing medicine.
Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers at Mayo are quick to mention the benefits of having access to the world’s best doctors and healthcare providers; of working for a clinic with a world-renowned reputation; of being able to utilize state-of-the art equipment and stay informed about the most current research findings. Most of all, they are proud to work for an organization that believes in putting patients first.
Hundreds of Saint Mary’s alumni have found a home at the Mayo Clinic, in positions across the board: from cytogenetics to emergency management, public affairs, healthcare administration, sports medicine, IT, public relations, and beyond.
Dr. Debra Martin, biology professor, said that each year she takes her Molecular Biology Class to tour the PGL and the Cytogenetic, FISH, and Microarray laboratories at Mayo Clinic. “I am fortunate that Mayo Clinic provides this opportunity for our students to see molecular biology in action at a world renowned, innovative research facility that is so close to our campus. It is also a time that I can introduce our current science students to the alumni who work in these labs. I am amazed at the percentage of employees in these labs who are Saint Mary’s alumni!”
Let us introduce you to just a few.
Dr. Tom Stewart ’06
Dr. Stewart first meets his patients in the moments before they go into surgery—when they are anxious and at their most vulnerable. An anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Dr. Stewart does his best to calm and comfort their nerves during one of the most stressful periods of their lives.
“We have to gain our patients’ trust in a short time, a very scary time,” he said. “It’s very rewarding. We are the patients’ advocate before, during, and after surgery. We’re the protector of the patient and the last line. We’re focused on keeping them stable and safe throughout surgery, even when things don’t go perfectly as planned.”
In addition to regulating life functions, anesthesiologists give patients medications or blood transfusions, playing a critical—but often unnoticed—role during surgery. When seconds count, anesthesiologists must make snap decisions and keep calm under pressure.
“A lot of our colleagues don’t even know what we all do behind the curtain,” he said. But Dr. Stewart is happy not being in the spotlight. “We didn’t go into anesthesiology for recognition but to put the patients first,” he said.
Dr. Stewart is one of 231 doctors at the Mayo Clinic who specialize in anesthesiology.
He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 2016 and started on staff at the Mayo Clinic in July, although he began doing his residency at the world-renowned medical facility in 2012.
Dr. Stewart’s pager is always near. Although scheduled to work elective surgeries Monday through Friday, Dr. Stewart must work at least two to three night call shifts each month and one weekend shift a month. As a level-one trauma center, the Mayo Clinic is always prepared to provide patients with the most advanced and comprehensive care available.
“You need to be at the ready if something happens. And it often does,” he said. “When we work overnight, we definitely work, we’re not sitting around waiting.”
To be working at a place considered the No. 1 hospital in the United States by U.S. News & World Report is a dream come true for Dr. Stewart.
“To be honest, it is by far the best place in the world—the camaraderie and connection between specialties and being able to communicate with cardiologists or oncologists or anyone else involved with your patients’ care. It makes the care really seamless. On top of that it’s the level of safety and security knowing you have the world’s best colleagues working with you and with the same patients. With the culture here, people really do live and breathe the motto that the patient comes first. Everyone wants to do what’s best for the patient. It makes it an easy and fun place to come to work every day.”
Dr. Stewart had always been attracted to the sciences, but didn’t look at medical school until late in his college career. Fortunately, he said, the academic programming at Saint Mary’s prepared him for medical school.
“The classes I took prepared me academically for the challenges of medical school,” he said. “My undergraduate courses were graduate-level caliber. It felt like we were reviewing the same material that we had already gone over at Saint Mary’s. That was obviously a big advantage going through medical school.”
Additionally, Dr. Stewart said getting to know faculty one-on-one, small class sizes, and the accessibility of faculty outside of class all helped to catapult his academic career.
“I had fantastic advisers. Dr. Deb Martin and Dr. Dick Kowles were huge sources of motivation. Dr. Martin’s biochemistry class was the most academically challenging. That prepared me for the academic rigor of medical school.”
As a 4-year hockey player, Dr. Stewart also learned about time management. “You learn very quickly how to best manage your time and be successful academically, as well as on the ice or playing field. Playing sports at Saint Mary’s was a benefit, never a hindrance.
“I owe all my mentors and professors a big thank you,” he added. “It was very clear they were excited to see people be successful and wanted to nurture students and put them on the right path.”
Dr. Stewart said he frequently runs into other Saint Mary’s alumni at the Mayo Clinic, sometimes at unlikely times, like when working a rotation in pediatric anesthesia during one of the last months of his residency. Somehow he mentioned in conversation that he had gone to Saint Mary’s, and the surgeon poked her head up to let him know she had gone to Saint Mary’s as well.
“I constantly come across people who have connections to Saint Mary’s. It’s very cool.”
Luis Escobar ’12
The biology major knew his end goal was to help others. To him, becoming a physician assistant seemed like the best way to do that.
“It is a career that fits my interest in medicine and my interest of being of service to others in a very direct way,” he said.
Escobar said no two days for him at the Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James are the same.
Physician assistants, he explained, are able to practice medicine in a variety of settings and have many roles. Physician assistants typically practice medicine in teams with physicians and other healthcare providers and are able to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients. Physician assistants may practice medicine in a primary care setting but may also practice in a specialty department, such as cardiology or orthopedics, for example.
“There is no routine day,” he said. “We see patients of any age, from little children to nursing home patients. One of the things I like about this job is that there is a lot of variety.”
Escobar said he must always strive to keep up with the latest medical knowledge. “There is no other field that forces you, in a good way, to stay up to date and to keep learning,” he said. “I enjoy that.”
Escobar said he feels honored to be part of the Mayo Health System. “The resources that this organization provides are unbelievable,” he said. “It has helped me grow as a medical provider and has given me all the tools that I need to continue to grow professionally. Every medical provider working within Mayo Clinic Health System is equipped to give our patients the best care. I am very lucky to be a part of this organization so early in my career.”
His first connection to the organization was when he served as a Mayo Innovation Scholar while attending Saint Mary’s.
“That was an eye-opening experience,” he said. “That really gave me and my whole team a taste of what it would be like to be part of a special organization like Mayo.”
Escobar reflects back to his advisers, Dr. Jeanne Minnerath and Dr. Deb Martin, who were helpful and encouraging while simultaneously pushing students to do their best.
“Dr. Martin encourages students to set their goals pretty high. I think the faculty at Saint Mary’s does an amazing job preparing students for the next level.”
Escobar echoes Dr. Martin’s comments about the large number of Saint Mary’s alumni working within Mayo.
“I work with a couple of providers in the Southwest Minnesota region who both graduated from Saint Mary’s within a couple of years of my graduation year. We have a nice Saint Mary’s alumni connection,” he said.
Dr. Amy (Korkowski) Oxentenko ’94
“I was the child who hated going to the doctor,” she said. “I was horribly phobic of needles and you needed six nurses to hold me down to get a shot. My family thought it was paradoxical that I was going into medicine.”
Dr. Oxentenko has been on staff at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester since January of 2006; however, she and her husband, also a Mayo doctor, completed their training with Mayo beginning in 1998 and never left.
“Many people who come to Mayo never leave because it’s such a great place to work,” she said. “I’ve had fantastic support throughout my training and my career. I work hard; I put in a lot of hours, but I am also able to find balance to raise my family as well.
“You almost forget you’re working among the world’s experts because it’s such a collegial environment,” she added. “I can call up anyone without hesitation because of the warm nature of everyone’s interactions here.”
She too sees Saint Mary’s in all aspects of her work with the Mayo Clinic. “Sometimes I clearly know who they are,” she said. “Other times you have that déjà vu moment and you wonder how you know them. I see people who I’ve worked with or had classes with at Saint Mary’s for sure.”
Dr. Oxentenko said that in the past 10 years her job has evolved. In the beginning, she spent most of her time in clinical medicine.
“As time has gone on, the education part of my career has grown,” she said. “I initially took over running the gastroenterology fellowship program and oversaw all the trainees who came to Mayo in gastroenterology. Then I transferred as program director for the internal medicine residency program. I also still have a clinical practice and have a regular presence in the GI clinical aspect, but have a much larger role in educational administration over internal medicine, which is the biggest one in the country.”
Dr. Oxentenko said she is thankful for the comprehensive overall liberal arts experience she gained at Saint Mary’s.
“When I look at students coming into medical school, it’s not all about the fact that they were in biology and chemistry, the most typical majors,” she said. “Fortunately some have completely different degrees, and that adds a nice diversity to the individuals who are in medicine. Saint Mary’s provided that. All the Lasallian classes that I took and the books I read by authors that I probably never would have picked up on my own—that all exposed me to a broader education and gave me a more cultured experience.
“I think about the professor who had the most influence on me long-term, Brother Robert Smith,” she said. “He was the hardest teacher that I ever had. But those classes taught you how to approach things in life and relate to people, and that’s going to get an individual farther than learning a particular biology formula … . Those things are more helpful long-term.”
Dr. Oxentenko said med schools particularly look at whether students have consistently performed well through college, not just in prerequisite science classes but also whether or not they are well-rounded, and not just academically. “Those individuals who volunteered, for example, have a level of professionalism and have demonstrated a giving of themselves which is a mark of someone who will do well in medicine,” she said.
Another individual who made a significant impact on Dr. Oxentenko while she was a student is Nikki Richmond, whom she affectionately calls her “dorm mom.” As a hall director back then, Richmond and her family lived next door. Dr. Oxentenko remembers vividly when their young son, Taylor, was diagnosed with Ataxia Telangiectasia. “Seeing her family go through the whole medical evaluation, their longitudinal contact with medicine, and their journey with Taylor deeply influenced me,” she said.
Watching the interaction that the Richmonds had with their healthcare team helped guide her to be the doctor she endeavored to become. “That experience showed me how important medical providers are for each patient,” she said. “Each patient isn’t a name or a number; each patient has a story and a family beyond a story. Watching the relationship that developed between them and Taylor’s caregivers was a moving testament.”
WINONA, Minn. — In recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Saint Mary’s University is hosting a variety of events throughout the week. The public is invited to attend these free events
Dr. H. Yvonne Cheek is making a return visit to Saint Mary’s Monday, Jan. 16, to speak about inclusivity, respect, and solidarity. Dr. Cheek will present “Stuck on Hope” from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. in Page Theatre. The president of the Millennium Consulting Group, Dr. Cheek is a strategic change consultant, master trainer, and facilitator. Committed to civic involvement, Dr. Cheek is currently a member of National Center for Black Philanthropy and is a trustee with the Blandin Foundation and the Sundance Family Foundation. One of the highlights of her career was co-designing and facilitating a White House Conference on Women and Leadership.
Tall Paul, an Anishinaabe and Oneida hip-hop artist enrolled on the Leech Lake reservation in Minnesota, will perform 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, in the Performance Center’s Figliulo Recital Hall. Born and raised in Minneapolis, his music strongly reflects his inner-city upbringing. From personal expressions of self, to thought-provoking commentary on issues affecting indigenous and diverse communities as a whole, Tall Paul’s music evokes a variety of substance and soul.
Author and motivational speaker Dr. Tommy Watson M’05, D’14 will present “Got Hope? Moving Forward Together!” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, in Salvi Lecture Hall, located on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall. Dr. Watson grew up with parents who were drug addicts and professional shoplifters. In fact, his mother was arrested 11 times during his first year of life while his father was incarcerated. By the time he was a senior in high school, he was homeless and had lived in nearly 30 different locations. Despite the many transitions and challenges, he was one of the top football players in the nation and went on to obtain four college degrees.
Dr. Watson inspires audiences to new ways of thinking and helps them to access their untapped potential. He has been featured on many news media outlets including Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC, and the Big Ten Network. His latest book, The Resilience of Champions™: Secret Habits of Highly Resilient Individuals and Organizations, chronicles his personal experiences. The book also reveals the secrets of success contained in the journeys of peak performers such as Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, McDonald’s, and Mary Kay Cosmetics. The Resilience of Champions describes how readers can use key habits of resilience to make their individual and organizational dreams come true. He is also the author of the award-winning book A Face of Courage.
The full schedule (subject to change) includes:
Monday, Jan. 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
7:30 a.m. — Donuts and coffee, Saint Mary’s Hall
12:45-1:45 p.m. — Dr. H. Yvonne Cheek, “Stuck on Hope,” Page Theatre
7 p.m. — Tall Paul music performance, Figliulo Recital Hall
Tuesday, Jan. 17
7 p.m. — Dr. Tommy Watson M’05, D’14, “Got HOPE? Moving Forward Together!”, Salvi Lecture Hall, third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall
Wednesday, Jan. 18
4:15 p.m. — Conversations with Minnesota author, William D. Green, Degrees of Freedom: Civil Rights in Minnesota 1865-1912, President’s Room, Toner Student Center
7 p.m. — Collection for Winona Food Shelf at men’s basketball game
8 p.m. — Movie: Selma, Common Room, third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall
Thursday, Jan. 19
7:30 p.m. — Drum & Dance from Guinea West Africa, Common Room, third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall
Friday, Jan. 20
7:30 a.m. — Fair Trade Friday with donuts, Saint Mary’s Hall
7 p.m. — Collection for Winona Food Shelf at men’s hockey game
Times and locations are subject to change. Check back to www.smumn.edu/mlk17 for the most recent schedule.
MINNEAPOLIS — More than 250 adult learners will graduate from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and its Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs in January. Two commencement convocations are planned for Saturday, Jan. 14, to honor these graduates.
The ceremonies, to be held at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Saint Mary’s University Center on Park Avenue in Minneapolis, will feature three graduates who have been invited to provide reflections as part of the ceremonies. Another three graduating students will be honored with Saint Mary’s Outstanding Final Paper Awards.
The following graduating students will provide reflections:
- Gideon Nyakundi, B.S. in Healthcare and Human Services Management
- Melissa Meyer, M.A. in Management
- Riaz Adnan, B.S. in Information Technology
The following graduates will be honored with Outstanding Final Paper Awards:
- Nancy Jarrett, M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy, “The Digitalization of Relationships: Effects of Technology on Couple and Family Life and Implications for Treatment.
- Brian Olson, M.A. in Management, “The Impact of Generational Differences In Recruitment and Retention of Millennials in the Workplace.”
- Denise Lecy, B.S. in Human Resource Management, “Perspectives in Human Resources Management.”
Gustavus Adolphus College student Scott Anderson is back on campus for his senior year after spending a semester in Florence, Italy last spring. During his 16-week study-away experience, Anderson studied the culture, food, geography, and architecture of Florence along with the Italian language.
A native of Fargo, N.D., Anderson is a chemistry and biochemistry double major who is currently interviewing at medical schools to fulfill his dream of serving as an anesthesiologist. During his time at Gustavus, he has played on the men’s soccer team, conducted undergraduate research, worked as a tour guide for the admission office, volunteered in the Mayo Clinic Health System, and mentored area youth as a Gustie Buddy.
“Gustavus taught me a lot about academics and life, and studying abroad truly helped to complete the liberal arts experience,” Anderson said. “During my time in Florence, I was able to apply the lessons learned in the classroom while becoming more mindful and living in the moment.”
According to Anderson, the most fulfilling aspect of his study-away experience was the relationships that he built outside the classroom. “Studying abroad opened my mind to the many different perspectives and views that people hold from across the world,” he explained. “After spending time in Italy, I’m even more focused on my goals and am excited to help people as a doctor in the future.”
What’s it like to study away in Florence, Italy? Check out the video to learn more about Anderson’s experience.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) will hold four open auditions in Wisconsin and Minnesota for its Summer Dance Intensive boarding summer camp. The Dance Intensive will be held July 9-22 in Winona. MCA, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, invites intermediate and advanced dancers between the ages of 11 and 22 to audition.
There is no pre-registration or fee to audition. Interested dancers should plan to arrive around 30 minutes prior to auditions to sign in, get a number, and warm up. The auditions will be lead by MCA’s Director of Dance Tammy Schmidt and will be run like a full ballet class. Students with pointe experience should bring pointe shoes to the audition class.
Following the ballet class, students have the option to show a prepared jazz, tap, modern, tap, or character dance center combination of at least 64 counts or 16 bars.
MCA’s 2017 Summer Dance Intensive Auditions
• La Crosse, Wis. — Jan. 28, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at La Crosse Dance Center, 2716 Commerce St., La Crosse, Wis.
• Minneapolis — Feb. 11, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Cowles Center/James Sewell Ballet, 528 Hennepin Ave Suite 218, Minneapolis
• Rochester, Minn. — March 25, 2 to 4 p.m. at Allegro School of Dance & Music, 2342 Superior Dr. N.W., Rochester, Minn.
• Winona — April 1, 10 a.m. to noon at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, 1164 W. 10th St., Winona.
*Please note that any student who has previously participated in MCA’s Summer Dance Intensive is invited back at a 25 percent discounted rate and is not required to attend auditions unless they want to be considered for a talent-based scholarship. For those who are unable to attend a live audition, videos auditions are welcome. For more information, call 507-453-5500 or visit smumn.edu/mca.
The innovative social entrepreneur aims to motivate and active girls and women through running.
WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will hold auditions Saturday, Jan. 21, for the Dance Repertory Company’s (DRC) spring production, Deeply Rooted Dance: Celebrating Our Connections. The company is MCA’s pre-professional dance troupe, composed of intermediate and advanced dancers ages 13 and older.
Auditions—free and open to the public—will begin at noon at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 W. Howard St. The final performances will be April 20-23 at Saint Mary’s University’s Page Theatre.
There may also be one or two additional pieces that involve younger dancers; please check back or call at a later date for more information.
The 43rd annual spring concert of the Dance Repertory Company, Deeply Rooted Dance celebrates our connections to family, to environment, to community, and to our world. Suitable and engaging for all ages, works range from classical to contemporary and ballet to hip hop. The event includes re-staged works, as well as new choreography created by MCA faculty and regional guest artists.
Those cast will be required to pay a $75 performance fee to cover costume costs; additionally they must be enrolled in at least one dance or theatre class at MCA during the winter session. All area college students who are enrolled in any university dance class are exempt from the class requirement, and Saint Mary’s University students are also exempt from the performance fee.
This 2007 photo is from “Southern Ties that Bind” by Tammy Schmidt—one piece that will be restaged for the Dance Repertory Company’s spring production.
Concordia junior multi-event athlete Josh Johanson (East Chain, Minn.) was selected as one of the Northern Sun (NSIC) Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representatives to participate in the NCAA Leadership Forum, held in Baltimore, Maryland in mid-November.
Johanson was one of just three NSIC representatives as the forum selects three SAAC members from each Division II conference.… Read More
The post Concordia’s Josh Johanson Participates in NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum appeared first on Concordia St. Paul.
The Concordia University Department of Art and Design presents its 14th Annual High School Honors Exhibition at the Concordia Gallery and H. Williams Teaching Gallery Jan. 9-19, 2017.
The exhibition will celebrate outstanding work of local high artists from Concordia Academy, Robbinsdale High School, St.… Read More
The post CSP Celebrates Young Artists at 14th Annual High School Honors Exhibition appeared first on Concordia St. Paul.
WINONA, MN, — Chicago’s legendary sketch and improv comedy theater returns to Saint Mary’s University’s Page Theatre Saturday, Jan. 21, at 7:30 p.m. with “The Best of The Second City.”
Fresh, fast, and always spectacularly funny, The Second City produces cutting-edge satirical revues and has launched the careers of generation after generation of comedy’s best and brightest. This must-see show features the best sketches and songs from The Second City’s 55-year history, made famous by superstars like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, and more, as well as their trademark improvisation. Come see where it all began during this special one-night-only engagement.
The Second City will also offer a free improv workshop at 2 p.m. on Jan. 21 Figliulo Recital Hall, located in Saint Mary’s Performance Center. Participants may join company members in improv games, or just watch and learn about the essential elements of Second City-style scenic improvisation. No experience or registration is necessary for this workshop, but space is limited.
Tickets for The Second City are $27 for adults and $24 for students and senior citizens. For more information or to order, visit pagetheatre.org, or call or visit the Saint Mary’s Performance Center Box Office at 507-457-1715 (noon to 6 p.m., weekdays).
Page Series activities are 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. Additional support comes from the Xcel Energy Foundation.
Photo by Kirstin Miccoli
The 30+ painted scrolls date back to the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Psychotherapist, Holistic Health Provider
Hometown: Walnut Grove, Minn.
Cheryl Weber has had a passion for helping others since childhood. Prior to opening a private practice two, Weber worked as a psychotherapist for 10 years at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. A psychotherapist specializing in helping others transcend trauma, anxiety, grief, and stress, Weber opened the AWAKEN Higher Brain Living Center™ in Eagan, Minn., in 2013, and practices as an Advanced Higher Brain Living® facilitator. This is a revolutionary development focused on shifting brain physiology and applying that to the integral dimensions of life (mind, body, relationships, and environment). She obtained her master’s in social work from the University of Minnesota and has Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker credentials.
As Gustavus Adolphus College pauses for the holiday break and prepares for the work that awaits in the New Year, we look ahead with hope and excitement to the promise of all that the future holds. As we reflect on 2016, we look back on milestones that have passed while at the same time laying the groundwork for the College’s continued growth as we move boldly forward.
This year our community launched the new Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan, mourned the loss of several legendary professors and staff, celebrated 100 seasons of Gustavus football and 75 years of men’s hockey, and shared the beauty of the fine arts in Anderson Theatre, the Kresge Studio, the Hillstrom Museum of Art, and Christ Chapel.
As 2016 draws to a close, let’s take a moment to look back on the calendar year. A lot can happen on a college campus in 12 months. Here are some snapshots of the many events, experiences, and stories of our students, alumni, and faculty who combine to make Gustavus great…
The College announced renovations to A.H. Anderson Hall to prepare the building to house the Department of Education, the Center for Academic Resources and Enhancement and Writing Center, the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning, and a new multifaith center. The updated building opens in February 2017.
Jaime Hollis was named the director of the Diversity Center, joining the Gustavus community after serving in a similar role at Gonzaga University.
Dr. Rashad Shabazz, an expert on the implications of geography and race, gave the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture on Monday, January 18.
A three-year, $100,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was implemented to support January Interim Experience classes that focus on digital humanities.
Three Gustavus seniors were named semifinalists for the prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program.
Students in English professor Baker Lawley’s January Interim Experience class launched Razor Literary Magazine, a national online literature publication.
The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra and Gustavus Jazz Lab Band toured Greece and Macedonia in late January and Early February.
The Gustavus Choir completed a ten-day concert tour which showcased its talents in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Minnesota.
Five Gustavus alumnae competed in the Women’s World Bandy Championship in Roseville, Minn.
The Department of Theatre and Dance presented Love’s Labour’s Lost: The Musical.
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, was announced as the College’s 2016-2017 Reading in Common book.
The annual Building Bridges conference focused on the far-reaching implications on the U.S. War on Drugs.
The chaplains’ office launched a new Gustavus Academy for Faith, Science, and Ethics for high school students after receiving a nearly $600,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Five members of the women’s swimming and diving team competed at the NCAA Championships in Greensboro, N.C.
Senior Ben Dipple was named a winner of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant to teach in Turkey.
Dr. Jay Sekulow, noted Supreme Court litigator and #1 New York Times-bestselling author, visited campus for three days as the 2016 Lindau Resident in Conservative Thought.
Junior Alex Kopp won the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association championship in the floor exercise with a Gustavus-record score of 9.850.
Four Gustavus alumnae were honored through the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship.
Grammy-nominated country music artist Hunter Hayes performed at Gustavus on Saturday, April 23.
The Gustavus Wind Orchestra toured the Midwest over Spring Break.
Senior Caroline David was named the 2016 winner of the Donald G. Paterson Award in Psychology by the Minnesota Psychological Association.
The Gustavus Department of Theatre and Dance closed the spring season by presenting Samuel Beckett’s absurdist comedy Endgame and six other Beckett short works.
Thomas J. Rooney was announced as the College’s new vice president for finance, treasurer, and chief financial officer..
The 36th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference focused on divestment and reinvestment.
Sami Swedish musician and indigenous rights activist Sofia Jannok visited campus for the Department of Scandinavian Studies’ Out of Scandinavia series.
Political science professor Alisa Rosenthal was named an American Council on Education Fellow for the 2016-17 school year.
A team of Gustavus students ranked first among American liberal arts colleges in the international Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling.
Ashley Krug ’12 was honored with the Minnesota Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Outstanding Athletic Trainer Recognition Award for her actions responding to a serious on-ice injury during a hockey game in November.
First-year student Karl Satterlund was awarded a Swedish Language Scholarship by the Swedish Council of America to support his study-away experience in Sweden. Senior Griffin Reed won the council’s Glenn T. Seaborg Award.
587 members of the Gustavus Class of 2016 celebrated commencement on Sunday, May 29. Delaney Sweet served as the class speaker and Dr. Eric Carlson (History) received the Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching.
“Perry” the Corpse Flower bloomed for the fourth time since 2007 in early June.
Gustavus was awarded a $10,000 grant from Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) and the Teagle Foundation to support development in the area of Interfaith Cooperation in Professional and Civic Life for the College’s students.
Physics professor Steve Mellema ’72 was selected through the Fulbright Scholar Program to travel to Malaysia in 2017 to teach and do research at Universiti Sains Malaysia (The Science University of Malaysia) in Penang.
Director of International and Cultural Education Roger Adkins was named an Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) Presidential Fellow for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Britt Stewart was announced as the new head softball coach after the retirement of Jeff Annis.
Three summer research students explored pollution solutions in the Seven Mile Creek watershed under the direction of geology professor Laura Triplett.
Legendary men’s hockey coach Don Roberts ’56 passed away in July and was celebrated by generations of players and fans at a memorial service on campus in November.
The College was ranked in the Top 30 in the nation in five separate categories in Money Magazine’s 2016-17 Best College Rankings.
Junior Casey Decker conducted research on glaciers in Ecuador under the direction of geography professor Jeff La Frenierre.
Longtime Gustavus Athletics Director Moose Malmquist ’53 passed away and was celebrated with a memorial service on Homecoming Saturday.
First-Year Research Experience (FYRE) students concluded a successful summer of on-campus research in a variety of disciplines.
The 52nd annual Nobel Conference brought together experts from across the globe to discuss the search for economic balance.
The Hillstrom Museum of Art won a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage grant through the Minnesota Historical Society.
Professor Anna Versluis (Geography) returned to campus after serving as a Fulbright Scholar in Haiti for the 2015-16 academic year.
The Gustavus community celebrated Homecoming on October 1 with a record number of attendees consisting of alumni, families, and friends of the College.
The Office of Career Development launched a new “cluster” career model to introduce specialized career guidance in a variety of fields as students prepare for the professional world.
Gustavus ranked 58th among liberal arts colleges in Niche’s annual rankings. The College also ranked highly in several different categories of the organization’s rankings.
Vicki Kennedy (Admission), Paul Jacobsen (Dining Service), and Lisa Heldke ’82 (Philosophy) were honored with annual employee awards at the Founders Day Celebration on October 31.
Communication studies professor Leila Brammer is partnering with the Kettering Foundation to teach deliberative democracy on campus and beyond.
The Gustavus volleyball team secured its second-straight conference title and returned to the NCAA National Tournament before falling to defending national champion Cal Lutheran in the second round.
The Department of Theatre and Dance presented More Light in Anderson Theatre November 17-20.
Gustavus announced nearly $12 million in gifts in November and early December, including multimillion dollar gifts from President Rebecca and Dr. Thomas Bergman, Bob ’81 and Beth Sparboe ’82 Schnell, and an anonymous donor from the Board of Trustees.
A team of Gustavus students won the Deloitte Audit Case Competition for the second straight year.
The College’s 44th annual Christmas in Christ Chapel worship services took place Friday, Dec. 2 through Sunday, Dec. 4. This year’s theme was “Ubuntu, Jesu: From the Cradle of Humankind to the Ends of the Earth.” For the first time, the full performance is available to watch online at any time.
The College announced that the Gustavus baseball field will be renovated beginning after the completion of the 2017 spring season.
Sophomore Alicia Lhotka was crowned as the 2016 St. Lucia at the College’s 76th annual Festival of St. Lucia on December 8.
Chaplain Brian E. Konkol was elected to the Executive Committee of the Association of College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA), an organization that brings together professionals from higher education to support pluralistic, inclusive approaches to claiming the role of religion, spirituality, and ethical identity in colleges and universities.
Gustavus won the inaugural Minnesota College Ballot Bowl by registering the highest percentage of students to vote. Run by the Minnesota Secretary State’s Office, the competition included 68 colleges and universities in the state.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
When you think of archaeological work, you might think of traditional methods like excavation.
But in their project to preserve a site older than Stonehenge, St. Olaf College faculty and students are taking up the same advanced digital tools that are often used by engineers and businesses.
Through advanced photogrammetry, Jack Hubler-Dayton ’17 is documenting the Jeffers Petroglyphs, a North American indigenous rock-art site located in southwestern Minnesota.
Advanced photogrammetry is a type of 3D modeling that constructs the depth of an object by measuring the distance between photos taken of it. These digital tools, Hubler-Dayton says, “encompass both the scientific and the artistic.”
Hubler-Dayton’s work is part of a collaborative research project at the Jeffers Petroglyphs initiated by St. Olaf Professor of History and Ancient Studies Tim Howe. This project brings together indigenous tribal groups, scholars, and undergraduate students to preserve the cultural heritage of the site through traditional excavation as well as advanced photogrammetry.
With these digital tools, archaeologists “get a clearer image than they get with the naked eye,” says Hubler-Dayton. “The rock carvings at Jeffers are barely visible for about an hour in the morning, between 5:30 and 6:30.”
In order to learn about advanced photogrammetry, Hubler-Dayton spent a week with Howe at Cultural Heritage Imaging, an organization dedicated to advancing the state of digital documentation. Cultural Heritage Imaging offers technology, tools, and training for cultural stewards, such as Howe and Hubler-Dayton.
Now, Howe and Hubler-Dayton are bringing these digital tools back to St. Olaf, where Howe is teaching a new course at the Jeffers Petroglyphs. This course is designed to expose students to methodologies and field practices employed by archaeologists when studying North American indigenous cultures. And with it, St. Olaf will become one of only a handful of institutions in the country that offer training in advanced photogrammetry.
With advanced photogrammetry and other methods, those involved with the research project are inventorying thousands of rock carvings at Jeffers, one of the most extensive collections of petroglyphs found in North America.
Jeffers, situated on a 30-mile long outcrop of Sioux quartzite, includes images of humans, buffalo, turtles, thunderbirds, and arrows. And the carvings tell a story that spans more than 10,000 years.
The petroglyphs are, in Hubler-Dayton’s words, “a living, speaking record of prehistoric religion, history, and thought.”
“Jeffers is a sacred site first and foremost,” he says. “It’s a holy place for many North American tribes, including Dakota and other Siouan people. I feel like I am most accountable to these tribe in my work, and I don’t do anything without the permission of tribal elders.”
Hubler-Dayton, who is pursuing a history major as well as an individual major, says that his experiences at St. Olaf have prepared him well to work at the Jeffers Petroglyphs. He participated in the Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (CURI) program and did field work at the Antiochia Ad Cragum Site in Turkey through the Mediterranean Field School. He also presented his work at the North Plains History Conference, for which he received funding from the college.
As an individual major, Hubler-Dayton has found that “St. Olaf has been really supportive in all of my independent studies. And in the classes that I can take, I talk to my professors about how I can integrate Jeffers into my work.”
“What this project has taught me is that we need to preserve the earth and respect it from a spiritual, and civic duty,” says Hubler-Dayton.
“We have to be in this together, preserving what’s left ecologically, historically, and culturally.”