Recent News from Campuses

CSB/SJU Nursing Department moves forward with renovation plans

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University Nursing Department is moving forward with a major renovation to their nursing facility.

Garment industry is topic of next Under-Told Stories Project Nov. 11-12 at Saint Mary’s University

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 10:59am
The next Under-Told Stories Project asks the question, “Is What You’re Wearing Enslaving or Liberating?” A panel of speakers will conduct a public discussion about issues related to the garment industry Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 11-12, at Saint Mary’s University’s Twin Cities and Winona Campuses. The event’s keynote speaker is Joe Bozich, CEO of Knights [&hellip

Gustavus to Induct Nine New Members into Athletics Hall of Fame

Gustavus Campus News - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 9:08am

The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has selected nine individuals for induction into its Athletics Hall of Fame. The 2014 class of inductees includes Tara Joosten Bubar ’98 (Soccer), Stephen Erickson ’99 (Golf), David Jussila ’91 (Tennis), Melissa Ring ’99 (Track & Field), Luke Schmidt ’99 (Basketball), Aaron Smith ’99 (Track & Field), Bob Southworth ’99 (Football, Basketball), Brent Staples ’99 (Football, Hockey), and Dee Swenson (Benefactor). This group will be honored at the Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet, which will be held in Alumni Hall at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 1, following the Hall of Fame football game between the Gusties and Bethel University set to take place at 1:00 p.m. on Hollingsworth Field.

Individuals eligible for induction into the Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame are athletes, coaches, and benefactors.  Selection of athletes is based on athletic achievements while a student at Gustavus.  Eight of the nine members of the Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be inducted for their accomplishments on the playing field, while one will be inducted as a benefactor.

Tara Joosten Bubar, a native of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, was a standout goalkeeper on three MIAC Championship teams (1994, 1995, 1996) and three NCAA Tournament teams (1995, 1996, 1997). She played in a total of 75 games compiling a record of 57-15-3 overall with a 0.650 goals against average and a .865 save percentage while also recording 43 shutouts. An all-conference and all-region honoree in 1995, Bubar holds school records in career saves, shutouts, goals against average, and minutes.

Stephen Erickson, a native of Bemidji, Minnesota, played at the top of the Gustavus men’s golf team’s lineup as it shined at both the conference and national levels during the late-1990s. Erickson earned all-conference honors three times — including runner-up performances in 1996 and 1997 — as the Gusties won MIAC Championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998. He led the team at the NCAA Championships in three of his four years, earning All-America honors in 1996, 1998, and 1999. He finished a career-best fifth in the nation in 1999.

David Jussila, a native of Bloomington, Minnesota, was a key singles contributor and a standout doubles player for the men’s tennis teams of the late 1980s and early-1990s. A three-time All-American (1989, 1990, and 1991), Jussila and his doubles partner, Ryan Skanse, won the 1991 NCAA Division III Doubles Championship over No. 2 seeded Tom Dailey and Steve Tignor of Swarthmore in Claremont, California. With four MIAC titles (2 singles, 2 doubles), Jussila helped the Gusties to four consecutive MIAC Championships.

Melissa Ring, a native of Anoka, Minnesota, was the track & field program’s first shot put specialist to consistently compete on the national stage during the late1990s. Ring was the first Gustie to earn All-America honors in the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a fourth place finish in 1999. At the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Melissa achieved All-America status in the shot put three times, placing eighth in 1997, fifth in 1998, and sixth in 1999. She won the MIAC indoor and outdoor shot put titles in 1999, and tallied a total of six all-conference honors.

Luke Schmidt, a native of New Ulm, Minnesota, established himself as one of the men’s basketball program’s most lethal scorers in just three seasons from 1996 to 1999. A three-time all-conference performer who also earned all-region honors in 1997 and 1998, Schmidt ranks fifth all-time in scoring at Gustavus with 1,607 points. He holds the school-record in career field goals (663), blocked shots (160), single-season points (604) and field goals (245), and sits fourth in rebounding (785). Schmidt helped the Gusties win MIAC championships in 1996 and 1997, MIAC playoff titles in 1997 and 1998. He was also a part of teams that qualified for the NCAA tournament in 1997, 1998, and 1999.

Aaron Smith, a native of Jackson, Wisconsin, was the track & field program’s first NCAA champion and still remains one of the most decorated throwers in school history. Highlighted by a gold medal performance in the hammer throw at the 1999 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Smith compiled a total of six All-America performances over his career including one indoor and five outdoor in the shot put (3), hammer throw (2), and discus (1). At the conference level, Aaron recorded 14 all-conference performances, which included four indoor titles in the shot put (2) and weight throw (2), and five outdoor titles in the shot put (2) and hammer throw (3). He still holds the school-record in the indoor shot put and outdoor hammer throw.

Bob Southworth, a native of Gibbon, Minnesota, stood out as a quarterback on the football team and a shooting guard on the basketball team. A two-time all-conference performer on the gridiron, he graduated as the school-record holder in career passing yards (7,085), touchdowns (59), completions (561), and completion percentage (56.9%), and still holds records for passing TDs in a season with 31 (1998) and passing TDs in a game with six (1998 vs. Hamline). On the hardwood, Bob was a three-year starter and two-time all-conference selection on Gustavus teams that won MIAC championships in 1996 and 1997 and made NCAA tournament appearances in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999.

Brent Staples, a native of Windom, Minnesota, terrorized opposing offenses as a defensive lineman for the football team during the late 1990s. A two-time all-conference performer in 1997 and 1998, Staples graduated ranked third in school history in tackles with 258 (105 solo) and remains the program’s top tackling defensive lineman. In his senior season, Staples received the Mike Stam Award as the MIAC Lineman-of-the-Year, was named a Football Gazette All-West Region First Team honoree, and received honorable mention on the Football Gazette’s All-America team. He is the football program’s all-time leader in tackles for loss with 67 and ranks second in sacks with 21.5.

Delores “Dee” Swenson, a native of Willmar, Minnesota, was the administrative assistant and office manager for the athletics department from 1974 to 2000. Swenson, the cheery and professional public face of the athletics department, juggled an impressive array of responsibilities including budget manager, travel manager, ticket manager, assistant eligibility coordinator, and NAIA/NCAA Championship liaison to name just a few. It was Swenson’s genuine care for the faculty, staff, and student-athletes and her positive, can-do attitude that was the driving force behind the family atmosphere that existed in the athletics and physical education departments during her 25-year tenure.

The selection of inductees to the Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame is made by the Gustavus Hall of Fame Board which is a 13-member group consisting of current athletic administrators, and former coaches and alumni.


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

Fall production “The Cover of Life” opens November 5

St. Kate's Campus News - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 7:30am
The Department of Music and Theater’s season opens season with play set in rural Louisiana. More »

Pilgrimage: Lessons From the Camino

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 7:01am

Editors’ note: This week marks the one-year anniversary of Susan Stabile completing the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage through France and Spain. Stabile is a law professor and Faculty Fellow for Spiritual Life at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. She plans to walk the Camino trail again in May or June 2015 using a different route.

The Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James, is a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle St. James are buried. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times (along with Rome and Jerusalem). There are a number of established pilgrimage routes to Santiago, and in fall 2013 I walked the Camino Francais, a 790-kilometer route that begins in St. Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees. I walked a total of 35 days (with two rest days), with a distance of approximately 15 miles a day, reaching Santiago on Oct. 29.

Everyone’s Camino experience is different, but some of the lessons I learned from the experience are valuable for all of us. Let me share three of them.

First, it is not supposed to be easy. We typically work under the assumption that everything is supposed to be easy for us. We always should be healthy. Our computers always should work. Our flights always should be on time. The water in the shower always should be hot, and so forth. At some point we have to confront the reality that it doesn’t always happen the way we think it should, and that perhaps that is the point.

My Camino was much more difficult than I ever expected it would be. Painful blisters in the early weeks. Rocky paths at the end of long days, when my feet were too tired to lift, making every step painful. Hours of torrential rain. More stretches of uphill climbing than I ever anticipated. I did the only thing I could: continue to put one foot in front of the other.

All of those experiences were for me a reminder that our greatest growth often is the product of the hardships we face. Big and small – we learn from them all.

Second, there is tremendous freedom in not constantly measuring our progress. During one day, I took the Calzada Romana from Calzadilla to Mansilla. The Calzada Romana is the most perfect extant stretch of Roman road left in Spain today. There was absolutely nothing on this stretch of Roman road between my starting point and ending point. No town. No park areas. No landmarks of any kind.

When a day’s walk was broken up by towns or sites, it was possible to mark progress by my guide book. Reaching town X, I would know I had walked 5.6 kilometers; at the next landmark, I knew I was halfway through my day’s walk, and so forth. When the whole day is one unbroken road, however, there is no way to judge progress. I knew I had to walk 24.5 kilometers to get to the town where I planned to stop for the day, but had no idea where I was at any point along the way. I couldn’t even estimate based on my rate of walking on other days, as I knew the rain and muddy road slowed my normal pace.

We have a natural tendency to seek ways to measure our progress, no matter what the arena, and we are uncomfortable when we lack reliable means to do so. But I learned that day that it can also be very freeing to simply move forward step by step without worrying about where we are in relation to a goal (however that is defined).

Third, be attached to nothing. Not to possessions. It took me all of one day on the Camino to lose a pair of shorts. They were a pair I liked and had planned to wear in the evenings. Gone. Let them go.

Not to plan. For me that included not starting on the feast day I intended and not being in Santiago on All Saint’s Day, as I had planned. It also meant not doing something I really wanted to do: walk from Santiago all the way to the Finisterre and the Atlantic Ocean.

After arriving in Santiago and resting a day, I began my walk to the ocean. The first day was overcast, but still reasonably pleasant. On the second day, the skies opened up early in the morning and never closed. Thirty-two kilometers – eight hours of walking – in pouring rain and heavy winds. By the time I completed my walk for the day, me, my shoes and everything in my pack was soaked. All night I listened to the wind and rain. Finally, I had to admit that walking the remaining 34 kilometers to Finisterre in the cold and rain with still-wet shoes, sleeping bag, etc., would serve nothing but pride. So I let go of my attachment to my plan and shared a cab with my fellow walkers on the final stretch to Finisterre.

Hopefully this gave you a small glimpse of my Camino experience. If you are interested in learning more, check out my Camino posts and pictures on my blog, Creo en Dios!

 This article originally appeared in the St. Catherine University graduate theology NewsNotes.

Studying the Monsters in the Mirror

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 6:32am

Halloween quickly is approaching and with that comes the rise of monsters. The princes among them: Dracula and Frankenstein’s creature.

Dracula and Frankenstein are two stories we’ve all grown up knowing and have been reinvented countless times across a plethora of mediums: television, movies, comic books, anime and manga, songs radio shows, stage adaptations and even cereals. In just this past year, Jonathan Rhys Meyers portrayed the iconic vampire in NBC’s ill-fated “Dracula” while Luke Evans donned fangs for “Dracula Untold,” released this month. Aaron Eckhart became the creature at the beginning of the year in “I, Frankenstein.”

So, what is it about these monsters that continues to fascinate us?

Jacqueline Lucca ’14 has an answer: They provide a mirror to humanity.

“How people write the identity of monsters seems to have a very close [connection] to how they view the identity of themselves,” Lucca said.

Studying the mirror

Lucca, 22, graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in English and Catholic studies. As part of her work at the university, she participated in the Young Scholars Grant program, which provides undergraduate students the opportunity to spend a summer doing research with a faculty member.

As soon as Lucca heard about the program, she was interested. She’d “had a very nerdy desire” to write a paper on Dracula already, but hadn’t had the opportunity or time. The Young Scholars Grant program supplied both the opportunity and the time: Lucca spent summer 2013 working with Dr. Young-Ok An, associate professor of English.

“The Young Scholars grant was a dream come true as it gave me the opportunity to talk with professors about my research in a way that I normally would never be able and gave me incredible incentive to really explore what I was passionate about,” Lucca said.

An already had been teaching a senior seminar class on heroes and monsters, so working together seemed like a natural fit.

“She was so inspired and curious about the topic,” An said.

Lucca already was set on Dracula, written by Bram Stoker and published in 1897, but only read Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley and published in 1818, after deciding to focus on monsters and identity in specific.

As part of her research, she read other books written around the same time as Dracula and Frankenstein. Nineteenth-century writers were fascinated with the boundaries between humanity and monstrosity, according to An.

“The boundaries were drawn in terms of heroism and humanity and the outlaw, superhuman or monster,” An said. “Issues such as gender, race and sexuality were all bound up with the question of how we construct who belongs to humanity and who does not.”

A large part of Lucca’s research was dedicated to philosophical reading and how the notion of identity has shifted over time.

“Identity is such an important theme, and monsters are so prevalent in our society that I expected the academic field to be inundated with research, but while I found ample sources on monsters and identity, I felt that the crossover between the two was lacking,” Lucca said.

She said incorporating these aspects into her paper was one of the most challenging parts, because it was outside her normal field of study, which Lucca said was like “exploring a new world.”

“She was able to delve into the complexities of interdisciplinary questions,” An said. “That’s one thing I was really proud and impressed with. She tackled those interdisciplinary questions so well and without compromise.”

Lines drawn thin

Lucca focused her paper to explore identity in Frankenstein and Dracula through the lenses of spirituality, sexuality and morality.

“They are major issues that every era has had strong feelings about, so there was a lot of information to explore concerning these topics,” Lucca said.

She rooted her paper in the Victorian sense of identity, explaining first that, in antiquity, a sense of self was rigid; identity was determined by outer sources such as society or religion. The issue wasn’t so clear by the 19th century. Instead, Lucca wrote, there was “an increasing emphasis on emotions and human expression through the arts. The Victorians were in an epoch of moral confusion as the Enlightenment left people unsatisfied, and they struggled to find some answers.”

Lucca launched into her exploration of Dracula and Frankenstein’s creature by explaining how the monsters allowed for exploration of a malleable sense of self and whether that sense of self is monstrous. The identities of both monsters are fluid, she wrote, drawing references to not only the way the monsters are able to change (in Dracula’s case, actually physically change himself), but focusing on how both monsters can alter human identity (the creature has a great impact on Frankenstein’s sense of self while Dracula manipulates those around him).

The physical and spiritual realm blend together in the novels, she argued, pointing out the supernatural aspects of both monsters’ appearances and how Dracula can even serve as a physical representation of the spiritual elements humanity struggles with.

Lucca then turned to sexuality, first explaining the struggle between sexuality and a malleable sense of self. Friction exists between individuals’ desires and the morality of society. This struggle is played out in the monsters, where sexuality represents life, death and power. Frankenstein strives to procreate on his own, eliminating the sexual act, but actually “proliferate[s] death and monstrosity.” On the other hand, Dracula defies death and is arguably a symbol of sexuality, but even as he empowers the women he’s around, he simultaneously victimizes them. Lucca grounded her arguments about sexuality with examples from each of the author’s own lives.

Her final lens delved further into the tension between having a fluid self and morality, claiming that as the fluid self takes over, the border between monster and human becomes blurred. Such a malleable sense of self, Lucca argued, makes it so “vampires like the glittery Edward Cullen or enchanting Damon have moved from inhuman to superhuman.” Monsters now are oversympathized, Lucca wrote.

And, Lucca continued, if we don’t have morals, the line between monsters and humans becomes superfluous. She concludes that morality was what could have saved Frankenstein and what did save the heroes of Dracula.

“As the human perception of themselves morph, we require morality in order to avoid monstrosity,” Lucca argued.

Man or monster?

So, are we likely to see less of Dracula or Frankenstein any time soon?

“They are addressing timeless questions about who we are,” Lucca said. “Perhaps, they are asking questions that monsters in literature today are too weak to challenge. I think that our modern sense of identity is flexible enough and has tried to expand to include the monstrous into human; however, I think these protagonists raise exactly the questions that were stated in my paper. What does that make human identity? How should we be thinking about ourselves?”

She points out that the fluid identity of Dracula in the new “Dracula Untold” movie fits well with her theories.

“He is trying to decide throughout the movie whether he is a monster or man and at one point says, ‘Sometimes people don’t need another hero, sometimes they need a monster,’” Lucca said. “It really struck me that monsters have shifted from feared creatures [that] reflect our identity through what we fear [to] almost what we wish to be. We have such a fluid identity that at this point the monstrous can be fascinating to the point of being desirable.”

An emphasized the contemporary and cutting-edge relevance of Lucca’s research.

“We are living in a time where cyborgs, cloning and technologically made artificial intelligence are encroaching upon humanity,” An said. “Those questions about what makes us human, and how we define humanity, that’s really important. Some of the cultural phenomena – TV, film, so much fascination with zombies, vampires, wolf-man, all those things – reflect our desires and fears about being human with all those possibilities and limitations. We project our wishful thinking and fears on these creatures.”

Lucca currently is working as a PCA through LifeWorks in Andover, as a resource counselor in Shoreview, and teaches at Aquinas Roman Catholic Home Education Services in Lino Lakes. She continues to find the topic of identity and monsters fascinating and may one day want to write a book on the topic.

Gustavus to Host Public Conversation for District 19A Candidates

Gustavus Campus News - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 12:22pm

Clark Johnson and Kim Spears

With election day (Nov. 4) quickly approaching, Gustavus Adolphus College will host a public conversation between Minnesota House District 19A candidates Clark Johnson and Kim Spears at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Three Crowns Room, located in the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center. The event is free to attend and open to the public.

The public conversation will be moderated by Gustavus Associate Professor of Political Science Kate Knutson. Those who wish to submit questions for the candidates to address, can do so ahead of time by emailing them to Free pizza will be available for attendees beginning at 6:30 p.m.

House District 19A includes all of Nicollet County and small parts of Le Sueur and Blue Earth Counties. The district includes the cities of Courtland, Kasota, Lafayette, Nicollet, North Mankato, and St. Peter, as well as a portion of Mankato. Johnson is running for a second term after being elected for the first time in a special election in 2013. Spears is a North Mankato City Council Member who is running for state office for the first time.

This event was organized as part of a collaborative effort between the Gustavus College Democrats, the Gustavus College Republicans, and the Office of the Chaplains.


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

U of M Professor to Speak on “The Physics of Superheroes”

Gustavus Campus News - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 9:19am

Dr. James Kakalios

Dr. James Kakalios is not your average physicist and his public lectures are anything but average. Kakalios will visit Gustavus Adolphus College on Wednesday, Oct. 29 to deliver his popular lecture, “The Physics of Superhero Comics” at 7:30 p.m. in Wallenberg Auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public.

Kakalios is the Taylor Distinguished Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota, where he has taught since 1988. His class “Everything I Needed to Know About Physics I Learned from Reading Comic Books” is a popular freshman seminar. He is a highly sought after speaker, whose trademark wit penetrates the yawning atmosphere of public speaking platforms for an incredibly funny, immersive learning experience.

In 2005, Kakalios published the popular science general audience book, The Physics of Superheroes, which has been translated into German, Italian, Spanish, and Korean. His Spectacular Second Edition was published in 2009 and then in 2010 he published The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics.

The Spectacular Second Edition of Kakalios’ book The Physics of Superheroes.

In 2007, he served as the science consultant for the Warner Bros. superhero film Watchmen. He appears on the DVD version of the film in a special feature that discusses some of the science behind one of Watchmen’s central characters—Dr. Manhattan. In 2009, Kakalios made a video with the University News Service on “The Science of Watchmen,” which has been viewed more than 1.6 million times and in 2009 won a regional Emmy Award in the “Advanced Media: Arts/Entertainment” category. In 2012, he served as one of the science consultants for the Marvel Entertainment American superhero film The Amazing Spider-Man.

Kakalios, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, has given talks at many high schools and colleges and universities, as well as such venues as The Library of Congress, the American Physical Society, the Aspen Center for Science, the Comic Con International, the first National USA Science and Engineering Festival, among others.


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

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