Recent News from Campuses

Grant to Allow Psychology Students to Work in Living Lab

Gustavus Campus News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:14am

Students in Professor Kyle Chambers’ Advanced Research Methods class had a chance to pilot the Living Lab model last year.

The Center for Developmental Science (CDS) at Gustavus Adolphus College and the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota (CMSM) in Mankato have been awarded a $3,000 stipend from the National Living Laboratory Initiative in Boston that will create unique opportunities for Gustavus psychology students.

The stipend will allow the CDS and the CMSM to create a permanent Living Laboratory in the new location of the Children’s Museum, which is scheduled to open in early 2015. Living Laboratories aim to educate the public about child development by immersing museum visitors in the process of scientific discovery.

According to the National Living Laboratory Initiative’s website, in the Living Laboratory’s educational model, scientists recruit participants and conduct their studies within dynamic exhibits at their local museum, rather than behind closed doors. Families visiting the museum are invited to participate in on-going research projects and to engage in one-on-one conversations with the scientists. Collaborating scientists work closely with informal science educators to communicate the questions and methods of their work to parents and other caregivers via informal conversations and hands-on activities that illustrate recent child development research.

“To our knowledge, this will be the first Living Lab partnership established in Minnesota,” said Kyle Chambers, Associate Professor of Psychological Science and Co-Director of the College’s Center for Developmental Science. “It’s also noteworthy that most Living Lab collaborations involve children’s museums and research universities with graduate programs, not liberal arts colleges, so this is a very special opportunity for our undergraduates.”

Associate Professor Kyle Chambers is the Co-director of the College’s Center for Developmental Science.

Chambers says that being involved in a Living Lab partnership has several advantages for developmental psychology students and researchers including access to a larger and more diverse subject pool and the opportunity for students to hone their communication skills with various audiences at the CMSM.

Junior Janey Ross is one Gustavus student who will be taking advantage of the Living Lab collaboration. Last spring, Ross took Chambers’ Advanced Research Methods in Developmental Science course which used the Living Lab model to conduct replications of previous experiments conducted at museums. That class laid the groundwork for the stipend application and recent award.

“It was a small class of 10 students so we got split into three groups and each assigned an experiment,” Ross said. “We re-created the experiment by building the materials ourselves and then we brought the experiment to the Living Lab and did research on our own. It’s a unique and challenging experience. We gained a lot of experience working with the public because we had to approach parents who had no idea what a Living Lab was and explain our research to them.”

Ross has been busy this Fall Semester preparing for the CMSM’s eventual opening by working with Museum staff to iron out the logistics of the relationship and also using the stipend to buy supplies and have professional signage made. She is looking forward to the Spring Semester when she and other Gustavus students can start collecting more data through experiments.

“I’ve always wanted to work with kids, but I didn’t want to be a teacher, so that’s why I decided to study developmental psychology,” Ross said. “Working in a museum has exposed me to another potential career path within the field of developmental psychology.”

Other Gustavus students who are involved with the Center for Developmental Science include Kate Belschner ’16, Allison Birnschein ’17, Alli Conrad ’15, Caroline David ’16, Andrea Garcia ’16, Nick Herzog ’16, Sarah Leavens ’16, Maren Kind ’15, Alyssa Maxson ’16, Gretchan Menze ’15, Neo Mpunga ’15, Emma Nystadius ’15, Allie Renneke ’15, Lili Rothschild ’17, Taylor Sommers ’15, and Callie Van Cleve ’17.

The National Living Lab Initiative is supported by a grant to the Museum of Science, Boston from the National Science Foundation. For more information about the Living Lab model or the Center for Developmental Science at Gustavus, contact Chambers at or visit the CDS website at


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

New Hillstrom Museum Exhibition to Feature Works by Patrick Blaine

Gustavus Campus News - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 12:18pm

Fluid Chromatic #53, 2003, epoxy on wood, 36 x 24 inches

The Hillstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus Adolphus College will present Fluid Chromatics: Epoxy Paintings by Patrick Blaine, from November 24, 2014 through January 30, 2015, and FOCUS IN/ON: Everett Shinn’s Magician with Shears, from December 5, 2014 through January 30, 2015 and February 16 through April 19, 2015.

There will be an opening reception for Fluid Chromatics: Epoxy Paintings by Patrick Blaine from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24, with comments from the artist at 7:30 p.m.

Fluid Chromatics: Epoxy Paintings by Patrick Blaine features fifty paintings by St. Paul artist Patrick Blaine, created in an epoxy medium that he developed through long and dangerous experimentation. The effect of these works, which feature imagery that is related to natural forms such as shells, leaves, pools of water, or clusters of frog eggs, is of rich, deep colors that seem to glow from within and that have a visually intense effect similar to that of paintings on copper. The primacy of color in his works is evident in the uniform title, Fluid Chromatic, Blaine has given to all the paintings in the exhibit.

Recently the artist has begun to combine his interest in nature photography, including that made during regular outings on bodies of water such as the Mississippi River, with his concern for color and for the epoxy medium. This exhibition includes his video titled Memories on the River Lethe, in which Blaine introduced hundreds of small, colorful epoxy globules, or resin stones as he calls them, into flowing water and recorded the effect.  These globules were made by an accidentally discovered free-form molding process to create colorful, jewel-like cabochons of epoxy.

Blaine studied in doctoral programs in history and the history of science but left those pursuits to concentrate on art, having been a casual painter for many years.  To date, Blaine has had few exhibitions, which include showings at the Marziart Internationale Galerie in Hamburg, Germany, and at the Blue Moon Café and the Frank Stone Gallery in Minneapolis.

FOCUS IN/ON: Everett Shinn’s Magician with Shears is another of the Museum’s FOCUS IN/ON projects, in which a single work from the Hillstrom Collection is analyzed in depth, in collaboration with a colleague from across the Gustavus Adolphus College curriculum.  An oil painting titled Magician with Shears by American Ashcan painter Everett Shinn (1876-1953) is the subject of an exhibition and essay co-written by Micah J. Maatman, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, and Hillstrom Museum of Art Director Donald Myers, which considers the artist, his career, and his strong interest in theatre, in particular vaudeville, through the painting, and will also reconsider the painting’s likely date and suggest the identity of the particular magician depicted by Shinn.

Admission to the Hillstrom Museum of Art, including all receptions and special events, is free and open to the public. Regular Museum hours 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. on weekends.  Please visit the Museum’s website at for further information.


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

Students pitch businesses in 90-second contest

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 8:52am
Aspiring young entrepreneurs walked to the front of the room and excitedly acknowledged a small roomful of faculty members, pens poised on score sheets. With a quick head nod and a deep breath, they were given 90 seconds to “sell” the room their business, non-profit, or event ideas—making sure to include their contact information, as [&hellip

Dance Repertory Company presents ‘The Nutcracker’

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 3:10pm
WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Department of Theatre and Dance and the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) will present the Dance Repertory Company in “The Nutcracker” Wednesday through Sunday, Dec. 3-7, at the Saint Mary’s Page Theatre. Heralding the message of peace on earth, “The Nutcracker” is performed around the globe during [&hellip

John Paulson Big Band reunites for Nov. 23 event

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 12:08pm
WINONA, Minn. — John Paulson’s 17-piece contemporary jazz big band returns to Winona Sunday, Nov. 23, at 6:30 p.m. They will be performing two sets of all-original music at Wellington’s Pub & Grill. The concert will feature exciting contemporary big band music composed and arranged by Paulson, who taught jazz and woodwinds at Saint Mary’s [&hellip

Saint Mary’s Chamber Orchestra concert planned for Sunday

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:00am
WINONA, Minn. —The Saint Mary’s University Chamber Orchestra will perform “The Magical French Horn” 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in Saint Mary’s Performance Center. Under the direction of Dr. David Leung, the orchestra will perform works by Felix Mendelssohn and contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. The event features Saint Mary’s [&hellip

Saint Mary’s takes 3rd on education leaderboard for Give to the Max Day

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 3:15pm
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University was one of the top three higher education institutions to receive donations Nov. 13 through Give to the Max Day, a statewide giving blitz designed to increase giving to Minnesota-based nonprofits. According to early estimations, in just 24 hours, Saint Mary’s raised $45,242 with 227 gifts. Gifts ranged from [&hellip

Application deadline is Nov. 17 for Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 3:15pm
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona giving trees will be going up before Thanksgiving. This communitywide program—in its 13th year—is providing gifts to area children and seniors in need this holiday season. Families looking for help obtaining gifts this year must apply by Monday, Nov. 17. Families may pick up an application [&hellip

Support Saint Mary’s at Give to the Max Day Nov. 13

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 3:18pm
What if you could turn a $10 minimum donation into an additional $2,000 donation for Saint Mary’s? Participate Nov. 13 in Give to the Max Day, and you could help make that happen! Make your donation on and help the Office of Development and Alumni Relations continue to change lives here at the university. [&hellip
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