Recent News from Campuses

MFAC Instructors Win Newbery and Printz Awards

Hamline University Campus News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 12:00am
Matt de la Peña has won the 2016 John Newbery Medal for his picture book Last Stop on Market Street and Laura Ruby has won the 2016 Michael L. Printz Award for her novel Bone Gap.

2016 MLK Commemoration & Day of Service

Hamline University Campus News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 12:00am
Join Hamline University and our neighboring communities for a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy of social justice on Friday, January 15.  Attend the annual commemoration event from 9:15-10:15 a.m. in Sundin Music Hall or register to participate in the MLK Day of Service.

St. Olaf farmland recognized for water quality

St. Olaf Campus News - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 2:20pm

Kendra Klenz ’17 and farmer Dave Legvold on St. Olaf farmland. Thanks to the work of student researchers and Legvold, the water that leaves that land is clean and largely free of toxins that damage other ecosystems.

Many people don’t know that St. Olaf College owns 400 acres of active farmland. Even fewer know that thanks to the hard work of student researchers and farmer Dave Legvold, the water that leaves that land is clean and largely free of toxins that damage other ecosystems.

Legvold, one of three farmers who cultivate the St. Olaf farmland, has earned the Minnesota Water Quality Certification through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program grants certification to farms that follow policies and laws that protect water quality.

This certification is the result of an ongoing collaboration among Legvold, St. Olaf students, and faculty members such as Professor of Biology Kathy Shea and Professor Emeritus of Biology Gene Bakko.

It began when Megan Gregory ‘04 tested the soil on St. Olaf farmland in 2003. Gregory found that the soil was “dead.” There was little organic material in the soil, and biological life was absent.

The soil had been stripped of much of its natural organic material, which is necessary for plants to grow, by poor farming practices. Because of Gregory’s discovery, the farming techniques used on St. Olaf farmland changed dramatically to restore and maintain the health of the soil.

Connor McCormick ’16 stands in front of a new sign touting the farmland’s Minnesota Water Quality Certification.

Farmers who rent St. Olaf farmland now must use either no-till or strip-till farming methods. These methods encourage bacterial development in the soil that leads to healthier soil.

Taking care of the soil had other effects, including increased ability of the soil to take in water, much less compaction, increased nutrient retention in the organic matter, and decreased runoff.

“If you’re taking care of the soil, the waters that leave your farm will be better,” says Legvold, who is dedicated to sustainable farming practices.

Heavy tillage leaves the soil black, uncovered, and susceptible to erosion, which pollutes surface waters. Better soil and use of buffers leads to cleaner groundwater and ensures that St. Olaf farmland will continue to be farmable.

St. Olaf farmland provides students with the opportunity to do hands-on research and blend coursework with practice, guided by faculty members such as Shea and Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies John Schade. Over the past 10 years, about 50 students have worked with Legvold to learn more about agricultural issues and conduct research.

This research collaboration has led to opportunities to present at local and national meetings. Kate Seybold ’15 and Connor McCormick ’16 presented their research on fertilizer levels and cover crops at the National Iowa Farm and Power Show, a conference of farmers focused on agricultural issues.

Seybold also presented her research at the Minnesota Academy of Science and the Ecological Society of America annual meetings.

“St. Olaf is progressive and ahead of the game in sustainable farming,” Legvold says.

St. Catherine receives grant from Lilly Endowment

St. Kate's Campus News - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 12:38pm
The University has been awarded a grant in support of a High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative. More »

CSB/SJU to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., with a number of campus events Jan. 18-23

Oratory contest, teach-in, Mixed Blood Theatre presentation of ‘Dr. King’s Dream’ and keynote speech from Duke University professor among the highlights of week’s activities.

MFAC Instructors Win Newbery and Printz Awards

Hamline University Campus News - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 12:00am
Matt de la Peña has won the 2016 John Newbery Medal for his picture book Last Stop on Market Street and Laura Ruby has won the 2016 Michael L. Printz Award for her young adult novel Bone Gap.

Rubbelke Announces Retirement Following 2015-16 Academic Year

Concordia University Campus News - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 10:52am

Tom Rubbelke has announced that the 2015-16 academic year, his 12th as director of athletics, will be his last at Concordia. Rubbelke will retire at the conclusion of the athletics season having spent parts of four decades in the department.

Rubbelke was named to the post on December 27, 2004 after serving as assistant athletic director and compliance coordinator since May 1, 2002. He came to Concordia in 1983 as an assistant softball coach until he was named head softball coach in 1998, leading the team for seven years before his appointment to the AD post.

"We are so pleased to be able to celebrate over the next academic year the dedicated service which Tom has brought to Concordia, first as a softball coach and as the athletic director," said Dr. Eric LaMott, Concordia Senior Vice President and Chief Operator Officer. "The university has undergone significant and substantial changes and the marvelous leadership Tom has brought to the athletic program has been a blessing and an integral part of Concordia's strategy."

In his time leading Concordia athletics, the Golden Bears captured an NCAA (all divisions) record seven volleyball national championships, earned 12 appearances at the Division II championships (Elite Eight or comparable), 19 Sweet Sixteen appearances, 34 NCAA Tournaments and 26 Northern Sun championships (regular season & tournament).

"I really appreciate the confidence that President Holst, Dr. Eric LaMott and President Ries have had in me. I've been privileged to be part of CSP since 1983, but especially in my roles here in the last 10 to 15 years," said Rubbelke. "I want to recognize the great coaches and administrative staff I've had, without them we would not have had the success we've had. At this time my main focus is on the 2015-16 season, the student-athletes here really mean a lot to me and I appreciate the relationships I've been able to build through the years with graduates and alumni."

The 2011-12 NACDA Under Armour Region Athletics Director the Year also secured the largest donation in Concordia's history, a $5 million donation for the construction of Sea Foam Stadium, along with another large private donation for the construction of Carlander Softball Field that came with naming rights to the Sea Foam Stadium concourse.

"The championships have been great, and will live on for years to come, and the awards and recognition from my peers have been special. But to me, the biggest accomplishment we've had is the addition of Sea Foam Stadium. Being able to bring our football, soccer and track & field student-athletes a permanent home on campus is really special, and it's something that truly has benefited all of our student-athletes."

Under Rubbelke's leadership, Concordia athletics served as host for seven NCAA regional championships on campus, numerous NSIC Tournaments but the crowning achievement was when the NCAA accepted Rubbelke's bid to host the Division II Championships in volleyball in 2008 and 2009, with the Golden Bears winning the title on their home court in front of the CSP students, staff, alumni and families.

Aside from the tremendous athletics success, the Golden Bears have earned high honors academically consistently throughout Rubbelke's tenure as athletics director. Concordia's teams have earned 46 team academic awards by their respective coaches association, had 11 teams ranked in the top-10 in the country for team grade point average while producing six teams who had the highest ranked GPA in Division II in their sport.

He's become an influential member of the Northern Sun, the NCAA, an active member of NACDA and also serves on the Division II Athletic Director's Board of Directors.

His career as an athletic director has been defined by a commitment to the student-athlete experience as reflected by his popularity among Concordia student-athletes and alumni. He has gone above and beyond to increase student-athlete scholarship funding while improving facilities across the board for training, competition and studying.

He has overseen and planned special events for breast cancer awareness as well as the award-winning Military Appreciation Day event. The 2009 event drew a Mayoral Proclamation from St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, and the 2012 Day of Heroes event captured the NCAA Game Environment Award that included a pre-game speech from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.

Concordia's dignitaries extended beyond the Military Appreciation Day events, as Minnesota's U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar assisted the 2012 volleyball team in unveiling its sixth NCAA championship banner.

Rubbelke spent his first 15 years at Concordia as an assistant softball coach before being named head softball coach of the Comets in 1998. Under Rubbelke, the softball team transitioned to NCAA Division II play as the Golden Bears and quickly won NSIC regular season and tournament championships in 2001 in just the second year of league and DII membership. In seven years as head softball coach, Rubbelke's Golden Bear clubs combined for a 220-124 overall record including a 56-24 mark in NSIC play. The team had five 30-plus win seasons and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the Sweet Sixteen each time including a regional championship (Elite Eight).

Tom and his wife, Barb have two children, Bryan and Teresa as well as four grandchildren.

Gaitan Making an Impact for Team Colombia at U19 World Championships

Concordia University Campus News - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 9:44am

Concordia University, St. Paul head women's lacrosse coach Mo Gaitan has had a productive summer, serving as assistant coach for the U19 Colombian Women's National Team at the FIL Rathbones Women's 2015 U19 Lacrosse World Championships at the University of Edinburgh.

While Gaitan will be breaking new ground as Concordia starts a women's lacrosse program (the first offering scholarships in Minnesota), she's also helping break ground in the sport on a larger scale. Colombia's U19 Team is the first women's lacrosse team in Latin America and Gaitan helped the team to its first-ever win against the Republic of Korea on Friday, July 24.

The team continued its run as an emerging lacrosse player at the World Championships by picking up a 15-8 win on Wednesday over Israel before falling in a competitive contest to the Czech Republic today. Colombia will square off with Finland in the 11th place game tomorrow (Friday) to conclude its World Championships tour.

"To be an emerging country and play for 11th place (of 14) is amazing for us!" explained Gaitan. "Our team's spirit and passion to be here has transformed Colombia into the darling team that many here at the championships who were not already affiliated with us are now cheering for Team Colombia!"

Read the entire story at

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