Recent News from Campuses
Gustavus Adolphus College Director of International and Cultural Education Roger Adkins, Phd, has been named an Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) Presidential Fellow for the 2016-2017 academic year.
“The AIEA Presidential Fellowship program is an opportunity to learn from another collegiate international officer who is more advanced in the role,” Adkins said. “It is a unique program that allows fellows like myself to benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of a more experienced peer, to observe them in action on their own campus, and to learn from their approaches to matters of programming, policy, and internationalization projects.”
The AIEA Presidential Fellows program selects up to five new senior international officers (SIOs) from across the country to be paired with more experienced international professionals as mentors. Fellows are selected based on perceived benefit to the individual and their institution, their promise and potential as international education leaders, and the quality of their application statement and materials. The program targets professionals who are in their first three years as senior international officers.
Adkins, who is awaiting his mentor assignment through the program, will prepare an individual plan of action outlining the key objectives of an educational visit to the mentor’s campus. During the campus visit he will spend several days at his mentor’s institution to shadow and learn about the college or university’s international education policies, politics, and procedures. After the campus visit, Adkins is expected to prepare a final report on his experience and how it will inform his continued work in the field of international education.
Gustavus is a member institution in the AIEA network, which primarily serves the SIOs from colleges and universities across North America. Adkins represented Gustavus at the 2016 annual AIEA conference in Montreal, Canada, and as a Presidential Fellow he will attend the upcoming conference in Washington D.C.
Adkins joined the Gustavus community in the summer of 2015 after working in international and cultural education at California Polytechnic State University and the University of Oregon. In his role at Gustavus, he leads the Center for International and Cultural Education, supervising a team that supports international students, manages study-away experiences, and promotes intercultural understanding. He serves as a media expert on international education and study-away issues, and is an active board member of the Upper Midwest Association for Intercultural Education and the Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education (ISLE) program.
More information, including a list of the 2016-2017 Presidential Fellows, is available on the AIEA website.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
WINONA, Minn. — It was a weekend of records as 500 attendees reconnected with each other, as well as their alma mater, during Saint Mary’s Reunion Weekend June 24-26.
The 50th anniversary Class of 1966 alone attracted a record 72 members, and the class generated a record reunion gift of almost $512,000 in appreciation for the education they received at Saint Mary’s. Matching gifts raise the impact of the donation to more than $620,000.
Another highlight of the weekend, the university presented four awards to successful alumni including:
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Throughout his career as an attorney in Washington, D.C., and Dayton, Ohio, Merle F. Wilberding ’66 has accrued a lengthy list of prominent legal achievements and worked high-profile national cases. He has repeatedly received the highest ratings from his peers and is continuously named an “Ohio Super Lawyer” and included in the “Best Lawyers in America,” among many others. In 2012 the Ohio State Bar Foundation gave him the Ramey Award for Distinguished Community Service. He received national recognition as an Army JAG Captain, representing the government in briefing and arguing the appeal in U.S. vs. Lt. William L. Calley, otherwise known as the “My Lai Massacre,” a case that will go down as the most notorious court-martial arising out of the Vietnam War. In 2008, on a substantially pro bono basis, he represented the family of LCpl. Maria Lauterbach, who was savagely murdered and buried in the backyard of Cpl. Cesar Laurean in North Carolina. As part of the case, he was interviewed on CNN’s morning news, The Today Show, and other national news shows and testified in hearings before the U.S. Congress. Subsequently, he became a national spokesperson for the victims of sexual assault in the military. At Saint Mary’s, the Merle F. Wilberding Alumni Room has been named in his honor. An active community leader and volunteer and a prolific writer, Wilberding has dedicated a lifetime of service for the benefit of his fellow man.
Clair (Zauhar) Pennycuff ’06, M’07
Young Alumna Award
Clair (Zauhar) Pennycuff ’06, M’07 empowers her students to grow not only in their academic knowledge but to live ethical lives as well. After completing her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Saint Mary’s, she moved to Kansas and became an English teacher at Kapaun Mount Carmel Catholic High School (KMC) for the Diocese of Wichita. Pennycuff shares her caring demeanor, with a touch of humor, with her students—holding very high expectations for them all. Her leadership abilities do not stop in the classroom. She has helped many other teachers by explaining the process of renewing their teaching license. She has also mentored new teachers. Pennycuff is also a part of the school technology committee and is involved with many other teacher and student groups, along with community activities. In 2012, she received the Gold Apple Award from KAKE news and was named Faculty Member of the Month in 2013. In 2014-15, she was named Teacher of the Year at KMC. This came after a difficult year involving a situation in which students had been caught cheating. It means a lot to her that this same set of students later helped nominate her for this award.
Barbara (Mulvey) McQuillan ’76
Lasallian Service Award
Barbara (Mulvey) McQuillan ’76 has dedicated her life to helping others. In 1993 McQuillan found her calling at Twin Cities Housing Development Corporation (TCHDC), where she worked her way quickly to executive director. TCHDC is a non-profit developer and owner of affordable rental housing for families in St. Paul, which has developed or preserved over 2,700 units of affordable rental housing in the Twin Cities metro area. McQuillan was awarded the LISC 2005 Community Development Leadership Award for TCHDC’s work related to the acquisition of tax credit properties. TCHDC properties not only provide high-quality affordable rental housing for low-income families, but often also help bring stability to the neighborhoods in which the properties are located. She has also been active on the boards—and held leadership positions—for three other nonprofit organizations: New Connection Programs, Inc., an adolescent chemical dependency treatment program in St. Paul; Neighborhood Involvement Program, a medical, dental, and mental health community clinic serving uninsured and underinsured individuals in Minneapolis; and Wayside House Inc., a chemical dependency and mental health treatment program for women.
Renée Garpestad ’81, D’03
Alumni Appreciation Award
Renée Garpestad ’81, D’03 has been a longtime partner of Saint Mary’s University. She graduated egregia cum laude from Saint Mary’s in 1981. After earning her M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in 1985, she returned to Saint Mary’s to obtain her Ed.D. in 2003. Garpestad began her sales and marketing career with Control Data, and she currently is senior vice president of business development at Lee Hecht Harrison. As an adjunct instructor at Saint Mary’s and St. Thomas, she has shared her expertise by teaching marketing and leadership. Garpestad has further shared her talent by serving on the Alumni Board of Directors from 1989-93 and as alumni board vice president from 1992-93. She also served two five-year terms on the Saint Mary’s University Board of Trustees and was named a Fellow of the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership. In addition to participating in numerous university events, Garpestad was involved with many campaign steering committees and focus groups over the years such as The Next Step, Millennium, Context and Vision, and the Centennial Celebration. In honor of the Centennial, she was recognized as an alumna who is living the Saint Mary’s mission.
The weekend included tours of the bluffs and campus, a fun run for all ages, a canoeing excursion, a community picnic, a chance to build a mosaic masterpiece, trolley rides through Winona hot spots, and more. Winona alumni also held class reunions all over campus, throughout the downtown, and beyond. A lively Golden Reunion class gathered Friday evening, and Brother William presented them with special diplomas proclaiming mastery of “the art and science of life experiences.” Additionally, the Merle F. Wilberding ’66 Alumni Room was dedicated in the Toner Student Center.
See more photos from the weekend at smumn.edu/photos. Watch a video recap at www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqH4FtgO90Y&feature=youtu.be.
Read and watch more about Wilberding here.
To see video introductions of the four award winners:
- Pennycuff: www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_lTjo12zPE
- McQuillan: www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1ZpVBBWJi4
- Wilberding: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgpbEX9cd4M
- Garpestad: www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7eVeT6gPS8
About Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Enriched by the Lasallian Catholic heritage, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota awakens, nurtures, and empowers learners to ethical lives of leadership and service. At Saint Mary’s, students find in every classroom—whether in person or online—a relationship-driven, person-centered education. Through intense inquiry, students discover the truths in the world and the character within. Founded in 1912 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota enrolls 5,800 students at its residential undergraduate college in Winona and its Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, based in Minneapolis but extending worldwide. Saint Mary’s offers respected and affordable programs in a variety of areas leading to bachelor’s, bachelor’s completion, master’s, certificate, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Learn more at smumn.edu.
Peter Buchholz ’07 M.A., a sixth-grade U.S. history and language arts teacher at Chaska Middle School West, was a semifinalist in the “2016 Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament.” The tourney aired over two weeks beginning May 2.
Along with 14 other teachers from across the United States, he embarked on a quest for a grand prize of $100,000 that began on the game show’s Los Angeles soundstage. There, Buchholz bested two contestants to advance to the semifinal round, held at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
To win a spot in the tournament, Buchholz went through the same audition process as all contestants, taking the initial 50-clue online test, and later attending, by invitation, an in-person audition held last June in Kansas City.
“At the audition you take another 50-clue test and then play a short ‘Jeopardy!’ game with two other candidates and do a short interview,” Buchholz said. “The test was similar to the ‘answers’ presented on ‘Jeopardy!’.”
Buchholz – who coaches his school’s Knowledge Bowl team and has enjoyed success with friends in trivia tournaments held in local bars – has long believed he had a good shot of making the show at some point in his life if he continued taking the online test. He came close in 2013 when he was invited to audition but did not make the cut.
“I was told the first time I auditioned that many people who make it onto ‘Jeopardy!’ have auditioned multiple times,” he said. “Being a teacher, I also knew that I would be eligible for the teacher’s tournament.” Still, he was completely surprised when he got the call last January from ‘Jeopardy!’ producers.
“I saw a call on my phone from Culver City, California, and ran out of a meeting with my sixth-grade team to answer it,” he said. “It was very exciting! Our meeting lost its focus when I returned with the news.”
Though Buchholz fell just short in the semis, he – and all the tournament contestants – walked away with a $2,500 grant from Farmers’ Insurance to use as they wish at their respective schools. In the first quarterfinal match-up Buchholz told “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek that he intends to use the funds to purchase innovative classroom furniture, including a kidney bean-shaped table and standing desks that will promote collaborative learning among his students.
Buchholz received his teaching licensure and master’s degree from the School of Education.
Inspiring Educator, Lasallian Leader
Hometown: Aurora, Ill.
Major: Communication Arts (Theatre)
Mary Catherine Fox is a well-respected graduate of Saint Mary’s and has been employed at her alma mater since 1990, serving as dean of the School of Business, Computer Science and Media Communications; vice president for university relations; and professor of Interdisciplinary Studies. She also teaches in the Lasallian Core Traditions program. For her service and dedication, she received affiliated De La Salle Christian Brother honors in 2014. Affiliation is the highest and rarest honor bestowed by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. By affiliation, men and women, lay, religious, and members of the clergy are made members of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. She was a delegate to the De La Salle Christian Brothers USA/Toronto Regional Assembly in 2005 and the 1st International Assembly on Association and Mission in 2006. She was the initial chairman of the Midwest District’s Mission and Ministry Council and was elected to two terms as chairman, and she has also served on the board of directors for Saint Mary’s Press. She received a Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award at the Huether Conference in 2013. She serves on the advisory board of the Institute for Lasallian Studies at Saint Mary’s, and has presented at both the International Leadership Conference of the International Association of Lasallian Universities and the Regional Lasallian Leadership Institute.
By Abbie Fangman ’17
Merle F. Wilberding ’66 is credited for bettering not only his community, but also the nation.
A renowned attorney in Washington D.C., and Dayton, Ohio, Wilberding has worked on several historically significant and nationally prominent cases. During the Vietnam War, Wilberding served as a U.S. Army JAG Captain and represented the Army in 800 appeals and argued 100 cases, including two of the biggest cases at that time—the Presidio Mutiny case and the Lt. William L. Calley also known as the “My Lai Massacre” case, which became known as the most notorious court-martial arising out of the Vietnam War.
In 2008, on a substantially pro bono basis, he represented the family of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who was savagely murdered and buried in the backyard of Cpl. Cesar Laurean in North Carolina. As part of the case, he was interviewed on CNN’s morning news, The Today Show, and other national news shows and testified in hearings before the U.S. Congress. Subsequently, he became a national spokesperson for the victims of sexual assault in the military.
Throughout his career, Wilberding has accrued a lengthy list of prominent legal achievements and worked high-profile national cases. He has repeatedly received the highest ratings from his peers and is continuously named an “Ohio Super Lawyer” and included in the “Best Lawyers in America,” among many others. In 2012 the Ohio State Bar Foundation gave him the Ramey Award for Distinguished Community Service.
United States District Court Judge Walter Rice said, “Wilberding is not only a practitioner, he embodies the role of a community servant.” An active community leader and volunteer and a prolific writer, Wilberding has dedicated a lifetime of service for the benefit of his fellow man.
Fittingly, Wilberding was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award during Saint Mary’s University’s Alumni Reunion Weekend June 24-26.
Wilberding embodies the Saint Mary’s mission of empowering learners to live ethical lives of service and leadership. Clients are drawn to him for his integrity and the breath of his knowledge. Douglas Sholz, president of Unibuilt Industries, Inc., said that Wilberding “gives not only the legal determination, but the right determination.”
The alumnus credits the education he received from Saint Mary’s as helping to prepare him for his career. One faculty member in particular, Brother K. Basil, had a strong impact. Brother K. Basil pushed his students to analyze information and to write concisely, and Wilberding said these skills proved valuable to him as he furthered his education and throughout his career.
Wilberding donated funds to construct an alumni room—dedicated during Reunion Weekend—in Brother K. Basil’s honor. The Merle F. Wilberding Alumni Room, a legacy to Merle’s life, is located in the Toner Student Center and is a place for alumni to gather to remember the past and learn about Saint Mary’s future.
Hear colleagues comment on Merle’s contributions to his community and to the nation.
Hear Merle talk about his time at Saint Mary’s and how professors prepared him for his law career.
View Merle’s acceptance speech after receiving the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Recent St. Olaf College graduate Zequn (Charlie) Li ’16 says he was drawn to a career in consulting for a very simple reason: it’s all about problem-solving.
And Li, who landed a position with consulting powerhouse Deloitte before graduating, notes that the liberal arts education he received at St. Olaf provided the perfect training ground for a career centered on creative and analytical problem-solving.
“I learned how to formulate questions and hypotheses, how to apply different statistical methods to different scenarios, and how to think thoroughly in order to convince people with my evidence,” he says.
He’s not the only member of this year’s graduating class to find that these skills are highly sought after in the world of consulting.
Mariah DuBose landed a position at Accenture Consulting, Roger Ntawukulityayo at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Alec Paulson at Analysis Group, and Laura Schmiel at The Huron Consulting Group.
These 2016 graduates are the most recent class of students to have successfully landed careers in the consulting field. They join a stream of St. Olaf graduates who have also realized their ambitions in this most competitive of sectors, including Tim Tuscher ’15 and Shannon Cordes ’14 at The Boston Consulting Group, Zihao (Daniel) Pan ’15 at Deloitte, and Nick Evens ’14 at McKinsey & Company.
“The college and its faculty have introduced these students to a broad range of disciplines, have helped them develop and understand differing points of view, and have underscored the role that values and belief play in shaping human life and work,” says Leslie Moore ’77, director of the St. Olaf Piper Center for Vocation and Career. “These students are well-prepared to listen to and respond to their clients, while keeping in mind the needs and interests of the broader community.”
Schmiel, who majored in mathematics and economics, notes that consulting places a high degree of importance on collaboration and teamwork.
“St. Olaf prepared me for this type of work because of the emphasis that many of my professors placed on group work,” she says. “Consulting is never done alone, and I know that I am well-equipped to handle any issues that may come my way.”
In addition to helping students sharpen their skills in the classroom, St. Olaf provides a wide range of resources and experiential learning opportunities that have helped many students make the transition from college to consulting.
The Piper Center’s Connections Program, for example, enables students to explore careers and network with alumni in cities across the country. Each city focuses on several career tracks and invites alumni in those fields to meet with current students.
Students who find consulting an intriguing career choice can go on the program that is offered in Chicago to meet alumni working in the Windy City.
DuBose, an economics and mathematics major with a concentration in management, was one of those who went on the Chicago program.
“It gave me the opportunity to connect with alumni at various consulting firms, one of which was Accenture,” she says. “Also, being able to get this exposure early helped me to discern my vocational interests in consulting and Accenture.”
St. Olaf students are also able to obtain experience in their chosen field before they step foot into the job market.
Paulson, an economics and mathematics major with a concentration in statistics, participated in research through both the Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (CURI) and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (CIR) programs — developing skills that will be invaluable in his job.
CURI and CIR each offer St. Olaf students the opportunity to work closely with professors and other students to conduct research. Working with Assistant Professor of Economics Ashley Hodgson, as part of a CURI project, Paulson studied the rates at which hospitals adopted technology. The results were presented at the international Atlantic Economic Conference in Boston.
In a world where companies are expanding into new markets at a rapid rate, a global perspective is becoming more and more important. Ntawukulityayo, an economics and chemistry major, participated in study abroad programs in China, Peru, and Panama during his time at St. Olaf. He also completed several internships — most notably one in Kigali, Rwanda, with Global Communities as a monitoring and evaluation analyst.
Those experiences played an important role in preparing him for his new career.
“The Boston Consulting Group is known for valuing a global perspective in their consultants,” he says. “St. Olaf helped me become a well-rounded individual, which is something that all major consulting firms are looking for.”
Eric Olmscheid M’07, Arts and Cultural Management, brought his passion of the performing arts to Des Moines, Iowa, and brought about a significant increase in public interest. He received the Outstanding Achievement in Education and Engagement award from the Broadway League.
Olmscheid is Director of Programming and Education at Des Moines Performing Arts, central Iowa’s premiere performing arts center that now serves more than 315,000 patrons annually. Olmscheid, whom selects shows and negotiates with artists to determine the center’s programming, enjoys the challenge of finding a high-quality arts experience and figuring out how to make it fit into the community.
“Building education and community engagement intersections with the arts are really what brings me the most satisfaction,” Olmscheid said. He has created six programming initiatives, including the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards, and has led the growth of education and engagement programs to serve more than 75,000 patrons annually. Such efforts and results were why he was recognized by the Broadway League.
When Olmscheid began his undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota Duluth, he initially desired to have a career in education. He soon realized that he wanted to teach and be involved in education, but not in the traditional classroom sense. Olmscheid graduated with a B.A. in Music in 2004.
“Through graduate school at Saint Mary’s, I discovered the ability to marry my arts and education interests,” Olmscheid said. “The M.A. in Arts and Cultural Management program catapulted me forward in my understanding of nonprofit arts management and what it takes to be an effective leader.”
The Broadway League is a full-service trade association dedicated to fostering increased interest in Broadway theater and supporting the creation of profitable theatrical productions. Olmscheid serves on the Broadway League Audience Engagement Committee.
“I had no idea that I was nominated,” Olmscheid said. “It’s a huge honor and very humbling.”
Concordia University, St. Paul and the Hoffmann Institute have relaunched the Hoffmann Mentoring Initiative (HMI). The program enables CSP to equip a wider range of students for service to Christ through their vocations.
“We have and will continue to work with church work students at Concordia St.… Read More
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The Minneapolis College of Art and Design, on behalf of the McKnight Foundation, is proud to announce the eight recipients of the 2016 McKnight Fellowships for Visual Artists: Erik Benson, Julie Buffalohead, Leah Edelman-Brier, Tia-Simone Gardner, Monica Haller, Jay Heikes, Pao Houa Her, and Caroline Kent, all of the Twin Cities metro area.