Recent News from Campuses
More than two dozen people gathered at the Anderson Student Center’s create [space] (formerly the Makerspace) earlier this week to learn about embracing their passions and using them to change the world for good through business.
“I hope you start thinking about how you view good living, how you view good business,” said social entrepreneur Kristi Hemmer, founder and CEO of the Academy for Women’s Empowerment, at the first of a four-part, semester-long series “Helping Women Become Entrepreneurs for Good” on Monday.
She continued: “You can have one business that does good and you can have enough money so you don’t have to go to three jobs just to pay your bills.”
During the first installment – “Doing Good is Good for Business” – of the series, Hemmer emphasized finding a passion, which, she explained, plays a big role when creating a successful business.
“If you don’t know what the end plan is – that’s OK,” Hemmer said. “Think about what your passion is and what your next step is.”
She asked participants to embrace their “little girl passions” by identifying what they loved to do when they were children and to envision what that might look like as a business today.
“We tend to squish the little girl passions,” said Hemmer in an interview prior to the event. “I want them to reclaim their little girl passions and think: How can I make that into a career, how can I make that into my life? Instead of squishing it, how can I integrate it and actually see where my skill sets cross? Because usually where passion is, that’s where your skill set is.”
Throughout the hour-long session, Hemmer talked about being a social entrepreneur and pointed out examples of young women who had social questions and created businesses to solve them. One of the women she highlighted was St. Thomas grad Solome Tibebu ’12, who won the 2011 Fowler Business Concept Challenge, created an online community for teens with mental health issues, and speaks to groups about a variety of topics including mental health and social entrepreneurship.
“It’s really good to have this hope that we can actually do something because sometimes we just don’t think it’s possible,” said Marcella Mandarino, a junior majoring in business, following the session. “Hearing her [Hemmer’s] stories and how she got there really inspires and motivates me.
“I’m from Brazil and my country is going through a lot of bad things right now,” said Mandarino. “It’s horrible with all the slums and poverty. I have some ideas that could maybe help those people.”
Junior Jayda Pounds said she attended the program because she’s always looking for ways to grow and challenge herself. She said it made her think about things she’d never considered before including embracing those childhood passions.
“I learned that I’m the only one stopping myself, there’s really no excuse,” said Pounds, who is majoring in entrepreneurship and said one of her passions is baking. “I usually think I’m too young, I don’t have any money right now, or I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. But there are steps I can take in order to become successful.”
Sophomore Zoe Robinson, who is working on designing her own international peace studies major, said Hemmer’s talk really made an impact.
“The idea of creating a product or a business that helps others while supporting me and my lifestyle is something that’s really attractive to me,” Robinson said. “As is thinking about how as a woman I can help other women that need help in the United States and around the world.
“The biggest thing I took away from this is that I don’t have to decide if I want to make a difference or if I want to make money,” she added. “There’s a way to combine them and do both.”
The series is co-sponsored by the Luann Dummer Center for Women and the Social Innovation Collaboratory. Three more sessions remain including “Mind the Gap” on Friday, Oct. 20, from noon-1 p.m. in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center, Room 103; “Do Something that Matters,” on Friday, Nov. 10, (time and location, to be determined); and “The GIRLeffect” on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 1-4 p.m. in Anderson Student Center, Room 341. Get more information on the “Helping Women Become Entrepreneurs for Good” series. For more about entrepreneurship studies at the University of St. Thomas, check out the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship.
The Saint Mary’s University Volunteer Mentors are encouraging individuals, organizations, and churches in Winona to submit requests for the annual Lasallian Day of Service event on Saturday, Oct. 21.
Lasallian Day of Service was started by Saint Mary’s University as a day for students and alumni to volunteer in their communities—in the spirit of the Lasallian mission of service to others. Volunteers will be available from 9 a.m. to noon on Oct. 21, to help with fall cleaning, raking leaves, painting, or other chores. Saint Mary’s will supply the workers, if you supply the materials needed (paint, brushes, rakes, tools, etc.).
Requests must be made by Friday, Oct. 13, to Kirsten Rotz the Office of Campus Ministry at Saint Mary’s at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-457-7329. In your email request, please include description of work, address of location, and estimated time it will take to complete with three students.
Besides Winona, Saint Mary’s alumni will also be volunteering in the Twin Cities, Chicago, and New York City as part of Lasallian Day of Service.
St. Olaf College Professor of Religion Anthony Bateza has long been examining Martin Luther’s understanding of the human agency and its relationship with the virtue tradition, which focuses on questions of character, ethics, faith, and moral formation.
Earning his bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University and masters of divinity at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Bateza — who joined the Lutheran church as a college student after being invited by friends — was ordained and served for four years as an ELCA pastor before receiving his Ph.D. at Princeton Theological Seminary. While working on his dissertation on Luther, Bateza himself struggled with questions of ethics and faith and what resources Lutheranism provided that would answer his questions.
He joined the St. Olaf Religion Department in 2015, teaching courses on Martin Luther as well as Christian theology and ethics. Although he came late to the Lutheran tradition, Bateza says that Luther is always in the background of his classes and at the back of his mind, even as his students come from different faith traditions, or none at all.
“I’m honest with my students on the first day [of class] that I am Lutheran and that my thinking is going to be shaped by that,” he says. For example, in a course that focuses on race, ethnicity, and community in the Bible, Bateza challenges his students to think about how biblical figures were included or excluded, and how that speaks to us today.
Luther, Bateza says, believed that words really matter, and that the spoken word can change someone’s heart. “I take that in my classroom and encourage my students to think about what they say and how their words affect others around them,” he says.
We had a chance to talk to Professor Bateza about Martin Luther (1483–1546) before his trip to Wittenberg, Germany, where he attended the International Congress for Luther Research, marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.Understanding Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a passionate and intelligent man living in a complicated religious and political world. He came from an upwardly mobile family that sent him off to college for a promising and profitable career in law. But instead of becoming a lawyer, Luther joined an Augustinian monastic community and ended up launching a movement that reshaped the religious landscape.
Luther did not intend to shake up the Christian world in the way that he did. He began by observing, and criticizing, the church’s understanding of grace and the practice of offering “indulgences” — certificates that would reduce or cancel out the time a person needed to spend paying for sins in purgatory after death. Luther drafted the 95 Theses, propositions for public dialogue and debate, which he did not expect to have much impact.
But like many movements, what started as a localized criticism quickly gained momentum and spiraled out into larger issues. Luther found himself embroiled in debates about the Pope’s authority, the role of monks and nuns, the proper use and interpretation of the Bible, and the structure of the worship service, to name but a few issues.
To really understand Luther, we need to pay attention to his brilliance and his blemishes. Luther was one who always believed that truth and honesty are expected from those who claim a relationship with the God who raised Jesus and liberated Israel. I hope that being honest about Luther encourages us to be just as honest about ourselves, celebrating our genuine accomplishments while confessing and repenting of our failures.WHY LUTHER STILL MATTERS
When I think about Luther’s relevance today, particularly for those of us connected to the larger St. Olaf family, three important topics come to mind.
First, there is the historical significance of Luther’s life and work. Many people today have little to no understanding about the history of Christianity and how this history continues to shape our present world. Learning about Luther teaches us that the past is much more complicated and dynamic than we might realize. The different Protestant reformers who followed Luther built on his teaching, whether they looked to extend or reject his ideas.
Second, I would say that Luther’s theological significance continues to be felt, particularly when we consider his understanding of God’s grace. The idea that God gives Godself freely to people is just as radical today as it was in Luther’s time. We know that the world can be a less than gifted and gracious place at times. We are constantly being evaluated, whether in the classroom or on our social media feeds. Luther’s thinking looks to relativize this way of seeing ourselves and our world.
Third, Luther was an ambitious young man in the right place at the right time. He identified an important, concrete challenge and sought to address it in a way that fit with his identity as a Christian preacher and professor. I believe that this lesson remains essential today. When we look at people who have had a significant impact on the world, they have done this by honing their skills and focusing their attention on concrete problems they identified.
I think that we do the same kind of work here on the Hill. We have students, faculty, staff, and alumni holding us accountable to our stated commitment to being a critical, inclusive, and engaged community. I would argue that these folks are, in their own way, taking on Luther’s mantle, and I’m excited to see how our Lutheran tradition can nourish this work in ways that bear fruit.WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THE REFORMATION
Remembrance is at the heart of the Reformation movement. Martin Luther and others saw themselves as reformers who were calling to mind Christian traditions from the past by, in part, calling out errors and abuses they recognized in the present, going into the treasury of the past and bringing out what was old and new. I believe that this sense of remembrance is at work in our [anniversary] commemorations this year.
From a historical perspective, I think that reminding ourselves about the Reformation is of value in and of itself. In a fast-paced media world, our minds are constantly buzzing about the latest political, economic, and cultural events. Taking time to learn about history, to see how the lives of figures in the past were similar and different than our own and to gain a better understanding of the events that have shaped us, is vitally important.LUTHER ON AUTHORITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
Luther blends a conservative view of authority, at least in the political realm, with a liberal dose of biting social criticism. He is a product of the late-medieval world and has no problem with taking up the pen as a form of resistance and excoriating malevolent princes and exploitative economic systems. He thinks that a good political leader is a “rare bird,” and that most are more concerned with their own power instead of the plight of the common people.
While the state has the right to use military and policing powers, Luther worries that corrupt leaders are abusing this authority and failing to show mercy when needed. He suspects that the banking and economic forces of his time are also oppressing the people. Indeed, one of his criticisms of the sale of “indulgence” was that the average family was being fleeced by wolves in clerical dress.
We have seen debates about poverty, wage stagnation, and the ongoing inability of political systems to address these concerns in recent months. I believe that Luther’s thinking here is sharp enough, and complicated enough, to provide us with rich resources for engaging these debates in Lutheran terms.
Hamline University and Professor David Schultz Select Brooklyn Park as Next Community Assemblies Sites
Carleton professors Nelson Christensen and Jay Tasson, along with alumni Jacob Broida ‘17, Tom Callister ‘13, Santiago Carides ‘08, and Michael Coughlin ’12, all are authors on a newly-released paper describing a recent three-detector observation of gravitational waves from a binary black hole coalescence.
Macalester professor Marlon James inks Amazon deal with Beyonce's buddy | Star Tribune | September 27, 2017
What do engineering, healthcare, finance, law, construction, energy, and government have in common?
They are all actively recruiting project managers and offer outstanding opportunities for professional growth and careers. As a project manager, you will lead teams that will help create solutions that are crucial for the success of enterprises, and innovations that can change the future of the world. Being a part of that innovation can be not only invigorating, but personally satisfying.
So how do you become a project manager?
There are many ways, but the one thing that they all have in common is educating yourself in project management best practices and methodology espoused by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the foremost professional association of project managers. This methodology is the core of the curriculum at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s Masters of Science in Project Management. The only program where the on ground and online versions are accredited by PMI GAC (Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Committee) in the upper Midwest. This accreditation states that the curriculum at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s Project Management Program is the best of the best as you move forward with your career in project management.
To help further explore Saint Mary’s University’s Project Management program, you are invited to a special event sponsored by Saint Mary’s and PMI-MN on October 12th at noon on the Twin Cities campus of Saint Mary’s University (2304 Park Ave, Minneapolis). The event is a lunch and learn entitled, “Building a Successful Career Using a Variety of Project Management Skills” presented by Dr. Kathy Schwalbe, PMP.
Dr. Schwalbe is the author of An Introduction to Project Management, 5th Edition the textbook that is used in Saint Mary’s Fundamental of Project Management Course. So not only will you learn about the Project Management program, PMI-MN, but also have an opportunity to meet one of the foremost experts in the field. There is a small $10 fee to cover the cost of the lunch and materials.
Below is a brief synopsis of the presentation:
In this lunch and learn, Kathy Schwalbe, Ph.D., PMP, and mother of three will share examples of how you can use a variety of project management skills throughout your life. Most people have a variety of jobs before they decide on one or more careers, and just as projects are unique, so are career paths. Kathy will share general advice and personal experiences to help you make the most of your professional life without neglecting your personal life. Topics discussed will include skills related to motivation, leadership, communications, teamwork, stakeholder engagement, technology, mentoring, empathy, delegation, and knowledge transfer.
I talked with junior Andrew Mohama in May and again in September at the same spot on the second floor of the Anderson Student Center. The first time we talked involved looking forward to the promise of an incredible adventure. The second time involved his trying desperately to put into words the inspirational, emotional, world-view-altering, amazing experience it all turned out to be.
Mohama spent 70 days this summer riding a bike from Maryland to California, totaling more than 4,000 miles. Those miles were all for the profound purpose of raising awareness and funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults: Mohama himself raised nearly $7,000, and biking teams across the country raised more than $600,000 for UCF, which provides financial aid and programming for young adults battling cancer.
“It’s really emotional looking back on,” Mohama said. “A big reason I applied was this quote, to never underestimating the difference you can make in the life of one person. That was solidified for me this summer.”
Several family members and friends’ parents losing battles with cancers throughout his life inspired Mohama to seek this experience out. While many days were physically exhausting, Mohama and others pushed through keeping in mind the people who have fought, and are still fighting, cancer.
“Ultimately the goal was to finish as a team, remember why you’re riding. That helped us push through it physically,” he said. “When you’re in the middle of nowhere Nebraska in a 100-mile ride in blaring heat, it’s hard to keep that mindset. You’re hungry, thirsty, don’t know where the water van is. Those are the times it’s hard to remind yourselves. Look at the name on your legs; today you’re riding for that person. That person has struggled so much more than you. This is nothing.”
Each day team members would write on their legs the name of who they were riding for that day. Every morning started by each rider explaining that person’s story as they knew it, and why they were riding for them.
“Everyone could express their emotions in those dedications. Some days you would be dedicating to someone you don’t know, someone you met at a gas station who told you about their son who passed away from cancer. We’d do those things and remember that, even if we’re not closely tied to that person, they have a story that’s so unique and powerful, filled with suffering, love and passion, that it’s worth us riding for,” Mohama said. “Those dedications, taking those people with us in spirit, held a lot of power for all of us.”
Back at St. Thomas, Mohama is back in class and working toward a career in medicine. Many of the challenges he faced this summer – from riding 25 miles up Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved street in North America, to dedicating his entire summer to a cause so much bigger than himself – has created a new mindset for what he, and anyone, is capable of.
“If you’re passionate about something and truly care about it, you can accomplish anything,” he said.http://www.stthomas.edu/news/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Video-Jul-11-5-51-06-PM.mp4