Recent News from Campuses

Keating Steps Down From St. Thomas Faculty

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 11:46am

Father Michael Keating, a full-time faculty member in the Department of Catholic Studies at St. Thomas since 2005, has informed the university of his decision to resign from St. Thomas. Keating asked the university to share his resignation letter with the community today:

“After careful consideration of my current situation in light of my employment options and long-standing goals, I have decided to resign my faculty position with the University of St. Thomas effective immediately. I have greatly enjoyed my time at the university and take with me fond memories of the St. Thomas community.”

President Julie Sullivan thanked Keating for his years of service to the university.

Constitution Day panel presentation planned for Sept. 17 at Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 10:50am
WINONA, Minn. — A Constitution Day panel presentation titled “Immigration Law & Politics” will be held Wednesday, Sept. 17, at Saint Mary’s University. The event, free and open to the public, will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall, located on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall. Panelists will include: [&hellip

Rochester Center hosts open house Sept. 25

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 9:33am
ROCHESTER, Minnesota—Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will host an Open House from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 25 at its Rochester Center. All are invited to attend the event but especially individuals who are interested in pursuing bachelor’s degree completion or advanced degrees offered in Rochester. “We have programs for anyone looking [&hellip

Arrrr You Afraid of the Dark? Neuroscience, Pirates May Illuminate Why

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 8:01am

Pirates. Those fearsome, fearless swashbucklers from days of yore earned a reputation for taming the dark. In this light, they might help us understand better why we feel anxiety, according to a St. Thomas study by recent graduates Megan Coffman and Grace Vo, and Dr. Sarah Hankerson of St. Thomas’ Psychology Department. Their project, “Correlates of Anxiety in a Dark-Induced Environment,” examines why are we afraid of the dark through the lens of neuroscience.

The project drew its inspiration from a 2007 episode of MythBusters, which tested a theory that pirates wore eye patches in daylight to help them see in the dark.

“This is a test to see if fear of the dark stems from an inability to see or if it’s something else,” Hankerson said. “Those who wear the eye patch should have better vision. That’s supposedly why pirates wore a patch, so one eye could see in the dark.”

Vo ’13, a medical scribe in the Emergency Department of St. John’s Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center, and Coffman, who graduated in May and now studies speech-language pathology at St. Cloud State University, presented a poster of the project at the Midwest Psychological Association Conference, held last May in Chicago. They plan to submit their findings to a scientific journal.

Six St. Thomas undergraduates – Alex Beaulier, Nina Elder, Jon Gall, Ben Gervais, Taylor Jorgenson-Rathke and Avi Manda – assisted Coffman and Vo, who served as co-leads on the project. “Most people don’t realize how much literature research you need to back up experiments before you’re ready to write,” Elder said.

Coffman and Vo enlisted 70 St. Thomas undergraduates to solve a Fisher-Price puzzle – designed for toddlers – in a small, sterile and (some might find) eerie room in the basement of the John R. Roach Center. Vo jokingly called it “the rat-training room.” Half of their test subjects wore an eye patch for 20 minutes before venturing into the completely darkened room. The other group did not.

Before entering the room, they plastered each student with a jumble of electrodes, which the team used to measure physiological responses, including heart rate, pulse and electrodermal activity (perspiration), as well as respiration via a chest strap not unlike a Polar heart-rate monitor used by runners. They monitored all activity just outside the room in real-time via a laptop loaded with specialized software. Each participant sucked on a cotton swab before and after solving the puzzle; Coffman and Vo later tested the saliva samples for changes in levels of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, and testosterone, a hormone they linked to sense of control.

Students entered the darkened room blindfolded. After removing the covering, they were tasked with first locating the table containing the puzzle; solving the puzzle, which had them sliding six different shapes into their corresponding slots; then finding their way back to the door. Not surprisingly, the “pirates,” or the students with one dark-adjusted eye, completed the test overwhelming faster than those who did not wear the patch, as they were able to see the room as if it were dimly lit though the room was sealed from light.

After completing the puzzle, both groups rated their anxiety during the experiment in a series of questions based on the Zung Anxiety Scale, one of a few standard surveys used by psychologists to measure anxiety.

The results? The less visible, more intangible of their measurements – the hormones cortisol and testosterone – provided the most illumination. The “pirate” students experienced marked declines in cortisol from pre- to post-puzzle, meaning they felt less anxiety immediately after completing the puzzle versus while they waited – bedecked with eye patch – to begin. The results of the testosterone samples weren’t as striking, but “there was a trend,” Vo noted: “Testosterone levels didn’t show significance between conditions, but they appeared to increase more in those who wore the eye patch, showing that dark adaptation may increase the body’s hormonal measure of control.”

Although the heart and respiration rates of the non-eye-patch-wearing bunch didn’t rise as they predicted, both groups experienced increased sweating while in the dark, a result they didn’t expect. Though scientific results can only take researchers so far into the human mind, Coffman surmised that this sole indication of the eye-patched group’s rise in anxiety during the study was “possibly attributed to the dark room. Even though they were ‘prepared,’ there is still an innate fear of the dark.

She added, “Dr. Hankerson always talks about how, evolution-wise, things relate. In prehistoric times, humans lived under the threat of night-time attacks by predators. Darkness delivered all these scary variables to early humans, and maybe that’s why we’re afraid of the dark. It’s a hypothesis, but it could explain why our heightened anxiety with the dark remains with us today.

Alas, whether our fear of the dark is more frightening than walking the plank, remains to be seen.

Carleton Dean of Students Wagner Announces Retirement

Carleton College Campus News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 2:40pm

Hudlin Wagner, vice president for student development and dean of students at Carleton College, has announced her retirement, effective at the end of the 2014-15 school year.

Wagner, who arrived at Carleton as associate dean of students in 1990, has served in her current role since 2005.

Platten, Fok are recipients of Saint John's highest alumni honor

The Fr. Walter Reger Distinguished Alumnus Award goes to two members of Class of 1974; Blake Elliott '03 to receive Bob Basten Excellence in Leadership Award.

Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture fall lecture to feature Catholic scholar

Kristin Heyer, a Catholic scholar on immigration, will present the Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture fall lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6.

Clemens Lecture to feature Peruvian scholar

Javier Iguiñiz will be the keynote speaker of the 26th Clemens Lecture at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29, in the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater at Saint John's University.

Law Professors File Supreme Court Brief for Pro-life Groups Supporting Working Pregnant Women

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 8:00am

Two professors from the University of St. Thomas School of Law are among the primary drafters and organizers of an amicus brief filed Thursday with the U. S. Supreme Court on behalf of a part-time UPS driver who lost seven months of wages and her medical insurance when the company refused to accommodate the lifting restrictions her doctor recommended during pregnancy.

Professors Teresa Stanton Collett and Tom Berg were counsel on the brief, which includes 23 pro-life organizations in support of petitioner Peggy Young in Young v. UPS. Among the groups advocating for working pregnant women are the University of St. Thomas Prolife Center, which is overseen by Collett, and Democrats for Life of America, for which Berg is a board member. A third St. Thomas law professor, Elizabeth Schiltz, also made contributions to the brief.

The brief’s authors argue that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act should be broadly construed to protect women from having to choose between their job and their unborn child.

The case centers on Young, who requested a light-duty assignment or assistance by another driver in delivering heavier packages during her pregnancy, when her doctor recommended she lift no more than 20 pounds. UPS declined to accommodate Young’s request, even though the company provided similar accommodations to drivers with limitations due to on-the-job injuries, disabilities, or the temporary loss of driving privileges, in most cases due to illness.

Young v. UPS seeks to decide whether the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires an employer to accommodate a pregnant woman when that employer accommodates other workers having the same ability or inability to work.

The trial court and Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that UPS did not have to accommodate Young because the company did not accommodate every other worker who had lifting restrictions, but the amicus brief argues that this is not the correct way to interpret the act. The question is not whether an employer accommodates every worker with similar limitations, but rather whether the employer accommodates any worker with similar ability or inability to work.

Once an accommodation is made for one reason, the brief argues that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires pregnant woman to be given the same accommodation.

The case is scheduled to be argued Dec. 3.

Expanding Paid Internship Opportunities

Hamline University Campus News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:00am
Hamline’s Career Development Center (CDC) recently earned part of a $5.2 million grant to increase paid internship opportunities for students.

Carleton presents Weekly International Film Forum

Carleton College Campus News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 5:54pm

Area film aficionados mark your calendars: Carleton College is pleased to host a weekly International Film Forum, with screenings held Monday evenings at 7 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. Featuring films from all around the world, the series premieres September 22 and screenings are free and open to the public.

St. Kate’s president and several alumnae honored as Twin Cities Women Leaders

St. Kate's Campus News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 3:14pm
St. Catherine University President Andrea Lee, IHM, along with several alumnae and trustees are among those honored by the George Family Foundation. More »

College Art Gallery Collaborative Fall Art Tour Makes Stop at CSP

Concordia University Campus News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 4:47am

The Concordia Art Center will be a featured venue during the 11th annual College Art Gallery Collaborative Fall Art Tour on Saturday, October 4 from 1-5 p.m. A pair of exhibitions will be on display during this event, headlined by Photo Biennial 2014: The Extended Image at the Concordia Gallery and the annual alumni exhibition, Oh Great State: Made in Minnesota, at the H. Williams Teaching Gallery.

Sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC), this free neighborhood art crawl takes participants on a guided bus tour featuring ten Twin Cities college and university gallery exhibits. Each stop on the tour features free music and refreshments, with guest artists and gallery docents on hand to discuss the exhibitions.

In addition to the art exhibitions, The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition will be on display in Concordia’s library.

Visit to register or learn more about the event. 

Hamline Graduate Earns Prestigious Internship

Hamline University Campus News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 12:00am
Hamline graduate Hannah Lindahl '14 recently earned a prestigious internship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. She accredits Hamline with helping her develop the skills and experience it took to be one of only twelve selected from a global pool of applicants.

U.S. News Names Hamline 1st in MN, 12th in Midwest Among Best Regional Universities

Hamline University Campus News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 12:00am
For the fourteenth consecutive year, Hamline University remains the top-ranked Minnesota university in its class according to U.S. News & World Report magazine's America's Best Colleges edition.

President Sullivan, Trustee Murphy Win Women Leader Awards

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 5:40pm

President Julie Sullivan and U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diana Murphy, a St. Thomas trustee since 1991, will receive “Celebrating Twin Cities Women Leaders” awards on Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Judge Diana Murphy

The George Family Foundation will recognize Sullivan, Murphy and 82 other women as exceptional leaders “who have led the Twin Cities in building institutions and solving significant social problems,” said Penny George, foundation president. “I hope the community realizes how very fortunate we are for their dedication and their leadership.” In addition, nine women will be honored posthumously at the event, which will be held at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

Other honorees with ties to St. Thomas include former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz, a former member of the St. Thomas Board of Trustees and the School of Law Board of Governors; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former member of the law school board; and Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer, founder and director of the Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota and wife of Dr. Joseph Kreitzer, associate vice president for academic affairs at St. Thomas.

The following alumni will be honored:

  • Mary Brainerd, ’79 MBA, president and chief executive officer of Health Partners.
  • Lynn Casey ’86 MBA, chair and chief executive officer of PadillaCRT.
  • Bernadeia Johnson ’93 M.A. (education), superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools.
  • Jodee Kozlak ’85, executive vice president and chief human resources officer of Target.
  • Trudy Rautio ’84 MBA, president and chief executive officer of Carlson.

The mission of the Minneapolis-based George Family Foundation is to develop authentic leaders and support transformative programs that serve the common good. Here is a list of the award winners.

SJU book store to host book signing

The Saint John's University Bookstore will host a book signing by three authors on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the campus bookstore.

Alumni return for weekend events, Sept. 12-14

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 11:57am
Saint Mary’s University alumni are invited back to campus for Young Alumni Weekend and Cardinal ‘M’ Club Weekend, Sept. 12-14. Young Alumni Weekend More than 150 alumni are expected to attend the full weekend of events which will include a faculty and staff social, a young alumni gathering at Mulligan’s (featuring alumnus Adam Stasica on [&hellip

New Carleton Art Exhibits Address Climate Change Through Photography and New Media

Carleton College Campus News - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 9:48am

Two new exhibitions in the Carleton College Perlman Teaching Museum will address the impact of climate change through photography and other new media. Featuring the work of two Carleton alumni, Christina Seely ’98 and Ken Tape ’99, both exhibits explore time, space, and evidence of climate change in the Arctic landscape.

Six artists interpret landscape in "Near and Far" exhibition

St. Kate's Campus News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:26pm
Curated by Carol Chase, "Near and Far Contemporary Landscape Paintings" runs through October 23 at the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery. More »
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