Recent News from Campuses

Institute for Freedom and Community to host symposium on ‘Disagreement’

St. Olaf Campus News - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 3:51pm

St. Olaf College’s Institute for Freedom and Community will host a two-day symposium March 31 and April 1 titled Disagreement – a Symposium for Constructive Political Discourse and Inquiry.

The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will feature three prominent guest speakers.

“Coarse rhetoric and contemptuous politics are defining features of our times. This symposium, as well as our work on campus through the Institute programs, examines the polarizing incivility of public engagement today and what it would take to have civility in our public debate,” says Dan Hofrenning, the director of the Institute for Freedom and Community and a professor of political science at St. Olaf.

The symposium sessions will begin on Thursday evening, March 31, and continue with two sessions on Friday afternoon.

Mark Kingwell will kick off the symposium with a lecture titled Jerks, Asshats, and the Unstable Politics of Civility that begins at 7 p.m. on March 31 in Tomson Hall 280.

Kingwell, author of A Civil Tongue: Justice, Dialogue, and the Politics of Pluralism as well as several other books and numerous articles on related topics, is a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto. In his lecture, he will argue that a robust account of civil discourse, rooted in a sense of shared vulnerability, is our only viable path forward.

Jonathan Haidt will deliver a lecture titled What on Earth is Happening to our Country? The Moral Psychology of Political Division that begins at 3 p.m. on April 1 in the Black and Gold Ballrooms of Buntrock Commons.

Haidt will draw from his recent book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion to discuss polarization and politics in the 2016 campaign. Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Sarah Sobieraj will complete the series with a lecture titled Extreme Incivility and Political Voice that begins at 4:30 p.m. on April 1 in the Black and Gold Ballrooms of Buntrock Commons. An associate professor of sociology at Tufts University, she is also the author of The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility.

The first two lectures will be streamed and archived on the St. Olaf multimedia site.

About The Institute
The Institute for Freedom and Community was established at St. Olaf in 2015 to encourage free inquiry and meaningful debate of important political and social issues. The Institute programs, including coursework, the Public Affairs Conversation, public affairs internships, and public lectures, aim to challenge assumptions, question easy answers, and foster constructive, respectful dialogue among those with differing values and contending points of view.

National Champions Celebration Is Thursday

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 3:43pm

A celebration to honor the St. Thomas men’s basketball team, four track and field runners and a swimmer, all of whom are NCAA Division III champions, will be at noon Thursday, March 31, in Schoenecker Arena.

President Julie Sullivan will welcome the gathering, during which videos will be shown and coaches will introduce the student athletes. Cake will be served in the lobby after the event.

Emma Paulson

The men’s basketball team won the NCAA Division III title March 19 in Salem, Virginia, defeating unbeaten Benedictine 82-76. It was the second national title in six years for the Tommies, who finished the 2015-16 season 30-3. Read more about the championship game here.

Junior Emma Paulson won three national swimming and diving championships March 16-19 in Greensboro, North Carolina, finishing first in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard backstroke. She became the first St. Thomas national champion in swimming and diving in the 33-year history of the women’s program, and was named Most Outstanding Women’s Swimmer at the meet. Read more about her performance here.

Emily Gapinski, Summer Ellefson, Aimee Junget and Megan Terukina

Senior Emily Gapinski won the mile and anchored the distance-medley relay to a championship at the indoor track and field meet March 18-19 in Grinnell, Iowa. Other seniors on the relay team were Megan Terukina, Summer Ellefson and Aimee Junget. Gapinski and Terukina were on the NCAA distance medley championship team a year ago. Read more about the team’s performance here.


Sports Information Director McGivern Wins Award

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 10:37am

Gene McGivern, sports information director at St. Thomas for 22 years, will receive an award from the Minnesota chapter of the National Football Foundation in recognition of his work.

McGivern will receive the Sid Hartman Media Award, named after the longtime sports columnist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, on April 17 at the chapter’s 9th Annual Minnesota Football Honors event presented by the Minnesota Vikings.

McGivern is the longest-tenured sports information director in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He joined St. Thomas in 1995 after serving six years as sports information director and cross country coach at Augsburg. He previously was sports editor at daily newspapers in Ames, Iowa, and Alliance, Nebraska.

“Gene does an excellent job as our sports information director and is tireless in promoting our teams and athletes,” said Steve Fritz, director of athletics at St. Thomas. “We have a superb website (, and our coaches and athletes are regularly featured by the local media because of Gene’s efforts.”

The foundation, in citing McGivern, pointed out that he covers 22 varsity teams and has written about seven national team champions, 15 national coaches of the year and 79 Academic All-America student-athletes honored by the College Sports Information Directors Association.

The association has recognized McGivern for his feature writing with two Best in National and six Best in District writing awards. He writes “Gene’s Blog” on, contributes to St. Thomas magazine and has written two biographies (on former Iowa State basketball coach Johnny Orr and then-Vikings coach Dennis Green).

McGivern is a graduate of Iowa State University, where he was an All-Big Eight runner and captain of the track and field and cross country teams.

New leadership emphasis at Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 9:25am

Leadership is in our mission—”Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota awakens, nurtures, and empowers learners to ethical lives of service and leadership.”

But it’s much more than that.

It’s embraced by students and faculty, regardless of discipline.

It’s embraced and showcased by our thousands of alumni throughout the world in their workplaces, communities, and homes.

It’s in our ethos as a culture.

For years to come, we want—and the world needs—leadership to be a core value.

So Saint Mary’s is placing even more emphasis on leadership development.

This year, at the undergraduate college campus in Winona, several new leadership initiatives have been launched.

First of all, students and staff were treated to a leadership series that included alumni and other guest speakers who told their stories and provided tips on successful leadership. They included:

  • John McDonough ’75, CEO and President of the Chicago Blackhawks, who brought the Stanley Cup to his alma mater (again) and also spent time connecting with and presenting to students and student-athletes about leadership and success. During the September visit, McDonough stressed the importance of strong teamwork, as well as drive and determination.
  • Chuck Bolton ’80, an executive leadership coach and author who returned to the Winona Campus Feb. 4-5, shared leadership advice and keys to success and happiness with students, staff, and faculty. A former student-athlete/ left-handed pitcher from the Chicago area, Bolton shared life lessons and tips from his new book, The Reinvented Me: Five Steps to Happiness in a Crazy Busy World.
  • Alex Sheen, creator and founder of the “because I said I would” social movement, spoke on the Winona undergraduate, residential campus and at Cotter High School this fall. Known for his TED Talks and YouTube videos, as well as his commitment to promoting leadership development through his nonprofit, Sheen shared powerful stories encouraging action during a convocation for the entire student body.

“The leadership events held on campus have really helped me grow as a student and person. Because college life can become so hectic at times, these events have allowed me to be able to sit back and think about what I can do to become a better leader,” said Chloe Morrison ’17, an International Business major and a swimmer. Morrison attended all of the aforementioned leadership series’ events. She had good things to say about each one.

“Alex Sheen’s presentation really struck a chord with me, because it can become very easy to say you’ll do something and then forget about it. Sheen reminded me that I should always try to stick to my word. Everyone on campus was really excited when John McDonough came to visit because he is a great example of how important leadership is and how much you can achieve as a leader. When Chuck Bolton talked to us about the keys to happiness, I realized how important it is to take time for myself and reflect on everything I have to be thankful for,” Morrison said.

The impact on students is what it’s all about. “The goal is to help develop the next generation of world leaders,” said Jamison Rusthoven, a member of the leadership series’ planning group and head men’s basketball coach at Saint Mary’s. “The key with leadership learning is that one size doesn’t fit all,” said Rusthoven. “The more you learn about it, the more effective you’ll be to evaluate your tools and experiences.”

In addition to the three previously mentioned leadership series’ guest speakers, co-curricular and extra-curricular leadership opportunities occur with regularity at Saint Mary’s. There are Living Learning Communities where students participate in theme-related, growth-enhancement activities, such as trips to rock climb, visit a museum, or hear an off-campus speaker. Saint Mary’s University also offers numerous (more than 100) student clubs and organizations, and if you don’t find one you like, you can start your own. What a leadership opportunity that provides! Just ask Heidi Ledermann ’19 who started the Nordic Ski Club this year.

But that’s not nearly all!

Saint Mary’s is home to more than 20 NCAA Division III athletic teams that involve about 30 percent of the student body as leaders in various fields of competition, the Student Success Center where all students can obtain advice and sign-up for internship experiences, the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership forum featuring guest speaker Former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Jr. on April 20, 2016,

And, not last or least, starting Fall Semester 2016 students on the undergraduate college campus will be able to minor in Leadership. This new minor is a combination of theory and practical learning to prepare students for today and tomorrow.

“Expectations for professionals are increasing and this new curriculum not only reflects these changes but also makes graduates more desirable in the job market and better prepared for career advancement,” according to Dean Beckman, chair of the Department of Communication. The Leadership minor resides in communication, although it is open to all students regardless of their major area of study.

This undergraduate college curricular offering joins the university’s existing academic offerings focused on leadership, including Saint Mary’s Master’s in Educational Leadership, Master’s in Organizational Leadership, and Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Leadership.




Alumni in Action: Robert Rotering ’71

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 9:00am

Doctor, global medical practitioner, teacher
Hometown: Dickinson, N.D.
Major: Philosophy and Pre-Med

Dr. Robert Rotering served as a physician in the most remote areas of the world; cared for wounded soldiers in Saudi Arabia; flew more than 150 transport and rescue flights as a transport surgeon; authored two books; and even experienced the world’s first artificial heart transplant. Instead of a lucrative career in medicine, Dr. Rotering said what was calling his heart was a career in service to others and in support of his country. He has practiced in Grenada, West Indies; Saudi Arabia; Brunei; Borneo; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He said the times in his career that have been the most satisfying have been cradling a dying soldier taking his last breath, or in Southeast Asia, going up the Borneo rivers and caring for indigenous people who had never met a Westerner or benefitted from our medicine. “It gave me a sense of satisfaction that I never could have had if I had practiced for money,” he said. Read this feature article about Dr. Rotering that was previously published in the Spring 2014 Saint Mary’s Magazine.

Read more Alumni in Action stories.

Winona Campus closed today due to weather conditions, Rochester Center to open at 4:30 p.m.

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 03/24/2016 - 7:43am

Updated March 24, 2016 at 8 a.m.

Here’s a weather-related announcement for Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota on Thursday, March 24, 2016:

  • The Winona Campus will be closed today due to extreme weather conditions. Campus offices and business operations will be closed. Essential employees will be contacted individually by their supervisor to determine the need to report for work.
  • The Rochester Center is closed today until 4:30 p.m. due to RCTC being closed. We will reopen at 4:30 p.m. and evening classes will be held.
  • The entire University, at all locations, will be closed for Easter Break from Friday, March 25 through Monday, March 28.

When traveling, use caution.

Severe weather emergency closure information for Saint Mary’s University students attending classes through the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs is online at Campus Safety for the Winona Campus is online at

Interfaith Program on Mercy as the Face of God to be Held Here April 6

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Wed, 03/23/2016 - 7:00pm

As a part of the “Jubilee Year of Mercy” called for by Pope Francis, the program “The Face of God: Mercy in the Islamic, Jewish and Christian Traditions” will be held at Wednesday, April 6, 7 p.m. in the 3M Auditorium of Owens Science Hall on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

Dr. Hamdy El-Sawaf

The program, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the university’s Office for Mission, the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning and the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center. The Jay Phillips Center is a joint enterprise of St. Thomas and Saint John’s University, Collegeville.

Brief presentations will be made by Dr. Hamdy El-Sawaf, Rabbi Amy Eilberg and Father Michael Joncas. A discussion among the panelists and with members of the audience will follow.

This past Dec. 8, Pope Francis inaugurated what he declared to be the “Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy,” saying that “the celebration of this feast involves … fully accepting God and his merciful grace in our lives” and “becoming, in turn, artisans of mercy.”

As Pope Francis has frequently urged Catholics to engage in interfaith dialogue and learning, this program will focus on the meaning and practice of mercy as found not only in the Christian tradition but in the Islamic and Jewish traditions as well.

Father Michael Joncas

El-Sawaf is the founding director of the Al-Wafaa Center for Human Services in Minneapolis, a psychotherapist actively involved in the Minnesota Council of Churches Healing Resources for Refugees initiative, and an imam at Masjid Al-Iman Mosque in northeast Minneapolis.

Rabbi Amy Eilberg

Eilberg, who in 1985 became the first woman ordained in Judaism’s Conservative Movement, directs interfaith programs sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center, teaches at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and St. Catherine University, and is the author of From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace (Orbis Books, 2014).

Joncas, a liturgical theologian and composer of Catholic music, taught for many years in St. Thomas’ Theology Department; he now is artist-in-residence and fellow at the Center for Catholic Studies.

Saint Mary’s student is found safe; thanks for help in locating

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 03/23/2016 - 3:45pm

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University student Luke Ringhand has been safely located.

Ringhand was found earlier today (Wednesday, March 23) in the Chicago area.

The Saint Mary’s community wishes to thank the quick actions of the Winona Law Enforcement Center, as well as everyone who helped to spread the word.

Ringhand had gone missing from the Winona Campus during the early morning hours of Monday, March 21.

“Luke’s family, as well as the entire Saint Mary’s community, give a prayer of thanks that Luke has been located and is safe,” said Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary’s University. “The response of our regional media, as well as our online communities in spreading the word, has been astounding. We especially appreciate the quick actions of law enforcement personnel. We are blessed to be a part of such a caring community.”


Page Series announces 30th anniversary season

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 03/23/2016 - 3:44pm

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s Performance Center proudly announces its 2016-2017 season. The 30th annual series, which runs Sept.10, 2016 through April 8, 2017, honors the Page Series’ rich history of presenting professional performing artists and celebrates some of today’s brightest young talent.

Returning to the Page Theatre are Minneapolis-based modern dance company Shapiro & Smith Dance, who gave a sold-out performance during the 2000-2001 season; The Second City sketch comedy and improvisation troupe, a highlight of the 1993-1994 and 2013-2014 seasons; and Virginia Rep On Tour (formerly Theatre IV) performing their Civil Rights Movement-inspired play, I Have a Dream. The season also includes the a cappella show VOCALOSITY, the Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China, Childsplay’s production of Rock the Presidents, Tout à Trac’s production of Alice in Wonderland, Irish band Caladh Nua, and a performance of Sacred Earth with live music by Ragamala Dance.

“We are thrilled to celebrate 30 seasons of bringing renowned performing artists and engaging experiences to the Winona community,” said Performance Center managing director Theresa Remick. “Our 30th season offers a wonderful variety of events that highlight the diversity of art forms and traditions flourishing in today’s cultural landscape.” The season, selected by Remick in consultation with the Page Series Advisory Committee, highlights cultures of the United States, Canada, Ireland, China, and India.

Over the course of the season, the Page Series will build upon its educational and community outreach programs with free events offered throughout the Winona area, including residencies by Shapiro & Smith Dance and Ragamala Dance, as well as the continuation of Page in History events at the Winona County History Center and Gatherings at the Winona Public Library. A full schedule of community events will be available in late summer.

Subscriptions for the 30th anniversary season go on sale Wednesday, March 30. This year, patrons will have the opportunity to choose from interest-based packages such as Dancing Delights, Explore the World, Musical Moments, and Family Favorites, as well as the option to build their own package of any three or more events. In addition to special pricing for Page Series performances, subscribers will also have the opportunity for advance purchase of tickets to Dance Repertory Company’s The Nutcracker (Nov. 30-Dec. 3). Subscriptions may be purchased online at (new subscribers only), by phone at 507-457-1715, or in person at the Performance Center Box Office from noon to 6 p.m. weekdays through May 6, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays beginning May 9. Tickets to individual performances go on sale Monday, Aug. 15. Full details about 2016-2017 performances, artists, and subscription packages are available at

The 2016-2017 Page Series

Shapiro & Smith Dance

Sat., Sept. 10 • 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $24, $21

Founded in 1985 by Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith, Shapiro & Smith Dance has a reputation for performing tales of beauty and biting wit that run the gamut from searingly provocative to absurdly hilarious. Dancing with breathtaking physicality and emotional depth, they have earned an international reputation for virtuosity, substance, craft, and pure abandonment. The company’s blend of contemporary dance and dramatic theater has elicited enthusiastic receptions across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Canada, and its work has been presented at major festivals and venues including the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Dance Theater Workshop, PS 122, Festival di Milano, Teatro de Danza in Mexico City, and the Korean International Festival.

Area dancers will have the opportunity to work with members of Shapiro & Smith Dance at master classes offered in June and September, offered in partnership with Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts. The company will also invite several local dancers to perform alongside them in their Page Series performance. Details and registration information for master classes and the performance are available at


Sat., Oct. 8 • 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $27, $24

Presented in partnership with Saint Mary’s Student Activities Committee

VOCALOSITY is the all-new live concert event from the creative mind of artistic producer Deke Sharon (Pitch Perfect, The Sing-Off) that takes a cappella to a whole new level! This fast-paced production features an all-star ensemble of diverse young vocalists singing some of today’s chart-topping hits in brand-new arrangements that set a new standard for 12-part harmony. It’s the aca-perfect concert experience!

Area a cappella groups will have the opportunity to enter the “Aca-Performance of a Lifetime” contest, and the winning group will be invited to open the Oct. 8 show. Details of the contest will be available at in the coming months.

Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China

Wed., Oct. 26 • 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $30, $27

Founded in 1959, the Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China has more than 100 performers and is one of China’s most renowned acrobatic troupes. Its acts have won silver and gold medals at the Cirque de Demain festival, the Italian Golden Circus Festival, the Massy International Circus Festival, and the Russian International Circus Festival as well as the China National Acrobatic Magic Competition and the Wuhan International Acrobatic Festival. In addition to touring around the world, the company performs a full season in Shanghai each year. For their Page Series performance, the troupe will perform their newest production, “Shanghai Nights,” which celebrates scenes from the nighttime skyline to the Shanghai countryside.

Childsplay presents Rock the Presidents

Wed., Nov. 10 • 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $14, $6

Book and Lyrics by Dwayne Hartford

Music by Sarah Roberts

Directed by Anthony Runfola

The Page Series celebrates election week with Rock the Presidents. Childsplay’s smash-hit musical about the presidents of the United States is back by popular demand! Rock the Presidents is a high octane, multi-media-filled, musical revue spanning 223 years of the American presidency—from George Washington to Barack Obama. The 44 men who rose to the highest office in the land are brought to life through rock, pop, and folk music. A second performance for school groups will be presented Thursday, Nov. 11 at 10 a.m.


The Second City

Sat., Jan. 21 • 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $27, $24

A favorite of audiences during the 1993-94 and 2013-14 seasons, Chicago’s legendary sketch and improvisational comedy theater returns to Winona with “The Best of The Second City.” 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. Fresh, fast, and always spectacularly funny,​ The Second City is celebrating 55 years of producing cutting-edge satirical revues and launching the careers of generation after generation of comedy’s best and brightest.

Alice in Wonderland

Wed., Feb. 8 • 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $14, $6

Based on Lewis Carroll’s classic

Written and Directed by Hugo Bélanger

English translation by Maureen Labonté

A production of Tout à Trac

Alice refuses to do her homework. She prefers to play and daydream in her father’s study where she stumbles across a strange rabbit that nibbles on books. Wanting to stop him from eating books, she follows him into his rabbit hole. Faithful to the unbridled humor and madness of the original tale, this adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s famous book is filled with surprises that bring the vast range of colorful characters to life by a set in which each book becomes a door to the next adventure. A homage to reading, Alice in Wonderland offers a window into our imagination. A school matinee performance will be offered at 10 a.m.

Caladh Nua

Wed., March 15 • 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $27, $24

The Page Series’ tradition of presenting leading Irish musicians continues with Caladh Nua. Caladh Nua is a tightly knit, vibrant band with its origins deeply rooted in the Southern counties of Ireland. Comprised of five versatile musicians and singers playing a wide selection of instruments, the band has captured the essential qualities of traditional Irish music and balanced them finely with an innovative contemporary flair. Through Caladh Nua’s collective influences, both the history and future of Irish music spark to life with a charismatic verve. From slow airs and plaintive vocals hauntingly delivered to modern arrangements played with virtuosity and spell-binding flair, Caladh Nua respectfully delivers the music of their heritage and carry it forward seamlessly into the future. Fans of 2013-14 Page Series artists Danú will love Caladh Nua!

I Have a Dream

Mon., March 20 • 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $14, $6

Play by Bruce Craig Miller

A production of Virginia Rep on Tour

The impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is chronicled in this compelling dramatization of the life and times of one of the most influential and charismatic leaders of the “American Century.” Inspired by the arrest of Rosa Parks, Dr. King gains national recognition and becomes the dominant force in the Civil Rights Movement during its decade of greatest achievement. I Have a Dream tells this inspirational story of this great leader’s struggle and his dream of lifting “our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.” School performances will be offered at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Ragamala Dance

Sat., April 8 • 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $24, $21

Ragamala Dance explores the dynamism of Bharatanatyam, from its ancient roots to its contemporary possibilities. Drawing from the myth and spirituality of their South Indian heritage, Co-Artistic Directors Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy create dance landscapes that dwell in opposition—secular and spiritual life, inner and outer worlds, human and natural concerns, rhythm and stillness—to find the transcendence that lies between. Sacred Earth explores the interconnectedness between human emotions and the environments that shape them. Performed with live music, the dancers create a sacred space to honor the divinity in the natural world and the sustenance we derive from it. The company will be in residence April 6 and 7, and will offer workshops and activities throughout the Winona area.


Weather-related announcements – Wednesday, March 23

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 03/23/2016 - 2:53pm

Updated March 23, 2016 at 2:45 p.m.

Here are weather-related announcements for Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota on Wednesday, March 23, 2016:

  • Winona Campus afternoon classes are canceled. Offices remain open for normal business hours.
  • The Rochester Center is closing at 4:30 p.m. today, due to the closing of Rochester Community and Technical College facilities. All evening classes are canceled.
  • Apple Valley Center is closing at 4:00 p.m. All evening classes are canceled.

When traveling, students, faculty, and staff are advised to please take necessary safety precautions.

Severe weather emergency closure information for Saint Mary’s University students attending classes through the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs is online at Campus Safety for the Winona Campus is online at

Ray Sajulga ’17: Bits, Bytes, and Biochemistry

Gustavus Campus News - Wed, 03/23/2016 - 2:41pm

Ray Sajulga ’17

Update: April 1, 2016

Ray Sajulga has been awarded an honorable mention for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, a prestigious national scholarship that over 1,150 students are nominated for each year.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate.

The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue research careers in these fields.

When Gustavus Adolphus College student Ray Sajulga started doing on-campus research during November of his first year, he had no idea that he would be able to combine his love of science and computers both inside and outside the lab. Now a junior, Sajulga has paired his passions in a unique way that he hopes will lead him to medical school or graduate studies in the sciences.

A chemistry and biochemistry double major who is considering biology and computer science minors, Sajulga wrote a computer program that allows researchers to simulate high-performance liquid chromatography experiments. The program crunches data and provides analysis that predicts the behavior of the chemical components. By saving time and resources, Sajulga’s modeling software allows researchers to focus on concepts that need to be explored in more detail through experiments. The experiments are much more expensive and time-consuming than the simulations, so using the simulations as a guide to do the “right” experiments can save time and money.

“Ray has a pretty rare combination of skills,” chemistry professor Dwight Stoll said. “The modeling simulation he’s developing gives us valuable tools to make progress on research.”

After spending the summer after his first year doing research with Stoll, Sajulga completed an internship focused on the use of computer programming in biochemical studies at the University of Minnesota before his junior year. Though the experience benefited his computer science skills, it reinforced his desire to study science or medicine.

“I want the balance of doing science but working with people,” Sajulga explained. “I like computer science but I love to help people. I want to serve as well as lead.”

During his time at Gustavus, Sajulga has led and served as a Collegiate Fellow resident advisor, co-president of CHOICE substance-free housing, member of Study Buddies, and a calculus and chemistry tutor. He’s also played alto saxophone in the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, Adolphus Jazz Ensemble, a saxophone quartet, and a jazz combo.

If that wasn’t enough, Sajulga also keeps pretty busy with research. He’s currently collaborating with Stoll and a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University on an article for the Journal of Chromatography A, a peer-reviewed analytical chemistry publication. Stoll has also presented the results of Sajulga’s work at national research meetings, including the Pittsburgh Conference.

“The science program here is exceptional. Professors go out of their way to connect you with opportunities and help with your research,” Sajulga said.

Stoll returned the praise. “Ray is humble and curious, and has extraordinary intuition,” the professor said. “He’s always willing to help.”

Sajulga, a Chaska, Minn. native, considered attending Bowdoin, Brown, Northwestern, and Stanford before choosing Gustavus. A first-generation American with parents who emigrated from the Philippines in 1994, he liked the location, personal attention from professors, and tight-knit community that he found “on the hill.”

As he prepares for one more year at Gustavus and sets his sight on the future, Sajulga offers advice for other students and future Gusties. “Strive to get past your comfort zone every day,” he said.

“Knock on doors and seek out opportunities,” Stoll agreed. “Working with smart people who get involved in multiple facets of the community are part of the fun of being a professor.”


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin

Saint Mary’s invites public to learn to line dance, walk the track in support of cancer survivors

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 03/23/2016 - 11:57am

WINONA, Minn. — At Relay for Life events, communities across the globe come together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. The public is invited to join Saint Mary’s University’s annual Relay for Life Friday, April 15, beginning at 6 p.m. in the university’s Gostomski Fieldhouse. The event runs until 2 a.m. Saturday, April 16.

Want to help out raise money for the event—and the great cause—while learning some fancy footwork? Line dancing lessons will be offered by guest instructors Laurie Haase and Eddie Hale for a minimum $5 donation at the Blackhorse Bar and Grill on Sunday, April 3, from 1 to 4 p.m.

To join a team or donate, go to:

Many fun activities are scheduled throughout the night. Anyone is welcome to stop by and partake in the activities or to make a lap in honor or memory of a loved one who has battled cancer.

All cancer survivors are invited to participate in a special ceremony near the start of Relay for Life. In a very moving portion of the evening, survivors walk the first lap on the Saint Mary’s track as others applaud. Everyone then joins in behind the survivors in a touching show of support.

As another opportunity to show your support, you can remember or honor your loved one with a contribution during the American Cancer Society’s Luminaria Ceremony. Stop by and purchase a luminary and decorate it in honor or memory of someone who has battled cancer.



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