Recent News from Campuses

Student-athletes honored for 2014-15 achievements

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 09/17/2015 - 11:30am

Neither one wears No. 2, but when it comes to this year’s Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Outstanding Male and Female Athletes, the number two seems to be rather significant.

Ben Buerkle (Roseville, Minn.) took the baseball world by storm as a freshman in 2013-14—and was named Saint Mary’s Outstanding Male Athlete for his efforts.

The Cardinal outfielder was even better as a sophomore—and Friday evening he was once again rewarded for those efforts with a second straight Saint Mary’s Outstanding Male Athlete honor.

A two-sport standout, Macki Fadness (Eau Claire, Wis.) made her presence felt both on the volleyball court and the hockey rink, helping both Cardinal squads reach the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Playoffs—and earn Saint Mary’s Outstanding Female Athlete award in the process.

Sticking with the No. 2 theme, Aaron Haley (Plainview, Minn.) and Katie Stolz (Forest Lake, Minn.), meanwhile, were named Saint Mary’s Outstanding Male and Female Scholar Athletes—for the second year in a row.

Friday’s festivities also included the induction of three new members into the Saint Mary’s Sports Hall of Fame, as the Cardinal ‘M’ Club, in association with the Saint Mary’s Alumni Office, welcomed the Class of 2015—Missie Meemken ’03 (women’s hockey), Missy (Westergren ’02) Kuntz (women’s hockey), and Corby Manes ’95 (men’s hockey) | Hall Release

The MIAC Rookie of the Year as a freshman, Buerkle took his game to another level in 2015, being named ABCA/Rawlings and All-American—not to mention Capital One Academic All-American—while also garnering First-Team All-Region honors from both ABCA/Rawlings and, and being named First-Team All-MIAC. Buerkle proved to be opposing pitchers’ worst nightmare in 2015, leading the team in batting average (.462), runs (46), hits (61), doubles (11), triples (4), home runs (7), total bases (101), RBIs (47), slugging percentage (.765), and on-base percentage (.517). Buerkle—whose 46 runs and 47 RBIs are single-season school records—has had at least one hit in 71 of the 76 games he’s played in his two-year collegiate career, and has been held off the base paths just twice in 76 career contests.

Fadness has proven to be a real thorn in opponents’ sides—in two sports. One of the top “shut down” defensemen in the MIAC, Fadness—who closed out the year with three goals and two assists—earned her third straight All-MIAC honor after helping the Cardinal women’s hockey team to the conference playoffs for the first time in five seasons. And that was the second post-season appearance of the year for Fadness, who was equally as dominant on the volleyball court, posting a team- and career-high 261 kills and helping the Cardinals reach the semifinals of the conference tournament.

An Accounting/Finance major with a 3.94 grade-point-average, Haley finished his collegiate career as one of the Cardinals top runners—both on the cross country trails and on the track, earning honorable-mention All-MIAC, First-Team All-MIAC and All-Region honors during his illustrious career.

A Biology major with a 4.00 GPA, Stolz broke her own six-kilometer school record in the 6K at the 2014 NCAA Regional, stopping the clock in 22.51—nearly 30 seconds faster than her previous mark, set at the 2013 Central Regional—en route to a 35th-place finish and her second straight all-region performance. Stolz, who has earned First-Team All-MIAC honors in both cross country and track and field during her four-year collegiate career—not to mention the 2013 MIAC Elite 22 Award—Stolz remains the school record-holder in the 6K (cross country), indoor 5,000, and outdoor steeplechase.

Take a look at the photo gallery from ‘M’ Club Weekend.

3 Outstanding athletes added to Hall of Fame during ‘M’ Club Weekend

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 09/17/2015 - 11:20am

The Cardinal ’M‘ Club and the Alumni Association inducted three members into the Saint Mary’s Sports Hall of Fame during Cardinal ’M‘ Club Weekend Sept. 11-13.

The 2015 Saint Mary’s University Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony honored former student-athletes Missy (Westergren) Kuntz ’02, Missie Meemken ’03, and Corby Manes ’95.

The trio were honored during an awards ceremony on Sept. 11. Along with the induction of this year’s Hall of Fame class, the ceremony also honored Saint Mary’s 2014-15 postseason award-winners, and recognized the 2014-15 Outstanding Male and Female Athletes, and Outstanding Scholar-Athletes.

Missy (Westergren) Kuntz ’02

A member of the first-ever Saint Mary’s women’s varsity hockey program, Kuntz enjoyed a stellar four-year collegiate career, earning First-Team All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors all four seasons, while also being named to the AHCA/JOFA All-American Second-Team following her junior season. A member of the Cardinals’ MIAC regular-season titles in 1998-99 and 1999-00—as well as the 2001-02 MIAC playoff championship team—was also a member of the Cardinals’ two national tournament teams her junior and senior seasons. Kuntz sits atop the career record books in points (154), assists (74), power-play goals (16), short-handed goals (6), and plus-minus (+138), while her 80 career goals rank No. 2.

Missie Meemken ’03


Meemken was also a mainstay on the early Cardinal women’s hockey teams, helping guide the Cardinals to a regular-season conference championship her freshman season, an MIAC playoff championship a year later, and back-to-back AHCA national tournament appearances as a sophomore and junior. A two-time AHCA/JOFA All-American—a Second-Team selection following the 2000-01 season and a First-Team pick the following year—Meemken graduated from Saint Mary’s as the team’s career leader in saves (2,360), goals-against-average (1.87), wins (54), ties (11) and shutouts (18), while her .932 career save percentage ranked No. 2. A two-time First-Team All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference pick, Meemken owns the single-season school record for wins (16, 2001-02), ties (6, 2002-03), and saves (684, 2002-03).

Corby Manes ’95


Manes proved to be among the most prolific offensive threats in Saint Mary’s men’s hockey history, earning All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors in each of his last three seasons with the Cardinals. Manes saved his best season for last, recording his fourth straight season of 30 or more points—finishing with 48 (16 goals, 32 assists)—in leading the Cardinals to an MIAC playoff championship and NCAA Tournament berth, while also earning AHCA/JOFA Second-Team All-American honors. Manes’ 106 career assists rank No. 2 all time, while his 172 points and 66 goals put him sixth and ninth all-time.

Take a look at the photo gallery from ‘M’ Club Weekend.

Kat Dahl ’14: Stretching at Gustavus Leads to Success in Medical School

Gustavus Campus News - Thu, 09/17/2015 - 8:51am

Kat Dahl ’14. (Photo credit: University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus and photographer David Ballard)

Growing up as the daughter of a family practice physician in the small town of Luverne, Minn., 2014 Gustavus Adolphus College graduate Kat Dahl was always interested in helping others. Although she initially planned to be a high school math teacher, Dahl quickly fell in love with the sciences after taking General Chemistry during her first semester. Five years later, she’s following in her mother’s footsteps in the medical field.

Dahl was first introduced to Gustavus during a hockey camp in middle school and the community that she found made her college decision an easy one. “I knew I wanted to go to Gustavus,” she said. “I wanted a school where I would be more than just a number. It was important to me to get a great education while remaining involved in activities I was passionate about. Whether it was academic clubs, athletics, or arts, I didn’t want those experiences to end when I graduated high school.”

During her time at Gustavus, Dahl majored in biology, captained the softball team, and studied abroad in Scandinavia. In addition, she did research with Professor Margaret Bloch Qazi and was a member of the Pre-Health Club and Student Athlete Volunteer Educators (SAVE).

“Being involved in so many things taught me to work hard and how to prioritize my time,” Dahl continued. “Medical school is busy and can be overwhelming. I have to plan out each day before it starts in order to accomplish everything I need to get done. This was new to a lot of my classmates, but I had already been doing this for a long time at Gustavus.”

As she begins her second year of medical school at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus, Dahl illustrates how Gustavus allows students to pursue a variety of interests. “My professors were incredible,” she said. “They encouraged me to participate in extracurricular activities that would enhance not only my medical school applications but also my life.”

The support network that Dahl built on campus includes faculty, administrators, and staff. Professors Margaret Bloch Qazi, Brenda Kelly, Mike Ferragamo, and John Lammert were key in preparing her for medical school, but she also highlights Assistant Athletics Director Kari Eckheart, Director of Health Professions Advising Heather Banks, and mentor Brenda Haugen as sources of encouragement. “There were so many people that influenced my journey at Gustavus,” she said.

Dahl was a two-year captain of the Golden Gustie softball team.

Along with the opportunity to participate in many activities at Gustavus, Dahl points to the College’s liberal arts environment as being crucial to her preparation for medical school. “I’ve been confident speaking up in class and giving presentations because that’s expected at Gustavus,” she said. “A lot of my classmates have had to completely change their study habits in order to adjust to the rigors of medical school. I learned those things as a Gustie, which made the transition much smoother.”

“I think a liberal arts education gave me a unique perspective on the things we cover in medical school,” she explained. “I’m not just looking at things from the perspective of a biologist. I find myself considering many different approaches because of all the different ideas I was exposed to at Gustavus.”

After applying to five medical schools, the summa cum laude graduate chose the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus for its strong rural medicine program and small class sizes. During her first year in medical school, Dahl met the “honors” designation in all of her classes, completing each course with marks of over 90 percent.

As she continues to work toward her dream of being a doctor, Dahl is grateful for the people and opportunities she found on campus. “Gustavus students get involved in so many activities because they’re passionate, well-rounded, and hardworking,” she said. “These traits will help an individual be successful no matter which career path they choose.”


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

Alumni in Action: Robert Donahue ’29

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 09/17/2015 - 8:00am

Robert Donahue ’29

Radio & television personality, volunteer for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind
Hometown: St. Charles, Minn.

After a long career in radio and television, Robert Donahue began a second career as a volunteer. In 1999 he was presented the Jane Falk Award for outstanding volunteer service by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, after 16 years of dedicated volunteer service, where he began as a driver and escort for clients going to appointments. As a former broadcaster, his rich voice and clear diction led him to do readings for people with disabilities, first in-person and later by recording materials on cassette. One of his early reading assignments was to read mail every week to a young man with a learning disability.

Over the years, he read and recorded cookbooks, a typewriter manual, magazines and medical textbooks. It gained him a reputation as a man who could be counted on to do an excellent job as a reader and recorder, whatever the assignment, and his age never stood in the way of his willingness to assist those who were in need of his vision and his voice.

Read more Alumni in Action stories.

Hamline Unveils Row of Honor

Hamline University Campus News - Thu, 09/17/2015 - 12:00am
A new Hamline Athletics Row of Honor to recognize coaches who have left an indelible impression on student athletes was unveiled at the Pipers Football game on Saturday, September 19, 2015.

Native Son, Native Seeds

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Wed, 09/16/2015 - 7:00pm

In the small Guatemalan town of San Lucas Toliman, among a lush patchwork of banana plants and avocado trees where roosters and ducks roam tunefully, Ronaldo “Rony” Lec Ajcot ’94 runs IMAP, the Institute of Mesoamerican Permaculture. The 15-year-old organization, which Lec founded, is making a meaningful impact in the Mesoamerican region by improving food security and, in turn, preserving ancestral Mayan farming practices.

Permaculture: The heart of IMAP

At the heart of IMAP is permaculture, a system of agricultural and social design principles aimed at simulating or directly mimicking the patterns and features found in natural ecosystems.

“Working with the land is the only way to preserve our Mayan cultural heritage and our survival,” said Lec, who is Kakchiquel, a Mayan subgroup indigenous to the midwestern highlands of Guatemala.

He explained that because Mayan culture is land based, “what happens in agriculture affects the culture and vice versa.” Likewise, the area on which IMAP focuses extends far beyond his home country. “Guatemala is just a political boundary. The Mayan culture extends throughout a very large area – southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Others might also consider northern Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica. That region is our land, our culture,” he said.

The seed bank at IMAP. Photo courtesy of IMAP.

On site there is a school in which Lec, with his team of six locals and a revolving door of international volunteers, promotes permaculture through workshops, courses and educational tours. Its mission is to empower communities throughout Mesoamerica via “self-sustainability through permaculture education, Mayan ancestral knowledge and conservation of native seeds.”

IMAP’s seed bank plays a central role in its mission to promote permaculture. Lec and his team keep more than 200 species of plants, mainly medicinals and edibles native to the area such as chia, chiles, tomatoes, beans, squash, and corn, “the gift of Mayans to the world,” according to Lec. There also is wild amaranth, sometimes called pigweed, which is edible despite being labeled a weed in the United States.

The native seeds are traded, sold, lent to and exchanged with regional subsistence farmers. “We don’t give them away because we also want to give a monetary value to these seeds,” he said.

Mesoamerican subsistence farmers, IMAP’s target audience, are the primary draw for the workshops, though anyone is welcome, and a number of St. Thomas students studying abroad over J-Term and spring Vision trips have taken tours throughout the years.

Roots of IMAP

Anxious to give back to his community, Lec returned to Guatemala in 1994 immediately after graduating from St. Thomas. A few years would pass before he would find his vocation.

His first job as a researcher for the Forensic Anthropology Foundation, documenting the massacres in one Guatemalan community during the 1980s, seemed a perfect fit; however, in short time the work proved too overwhelming for his spirit, so he searched for another way to contribute to his community.

The grandson of subsistence farmers who “nourished me with Mayan culture,” Lec quickly discovered that “everything pointed to agriculture.”

“There was an urgent need because it was obvious farmers were adopting modern ways. We needed a sustainable alternative,” he said.

By modern ways, Lec referred to “the big production model.” That model, characteristic to large-scale production, relies on chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides to propagate the monocultures – the production of only one crop in a field year after year and the antithesis of permaculture. It also relies on exporting, which is contrary to Mayan farming which revolves around self-sustaining production. Excess produce, if there is any, is sold to the local market.

“The classical Mayans we’ve all heard of … they built huge cities, temples, calendars. An amazing culture. I thought, ‘How can we go back and figure out what they did?’ I wanted to rescue that ancestral knowledge,” he said.

Lec often refers to crops as “systems” or “food forests,” a sign of the interdependent nature of the crops grown in the region. “The majority of land here is dedicated to coffee production. In my grandfather’s system, we had citrus trees, banana trees provide shade for the coffee. But in the modern (monoculture-based) agricultural model, which produces larger crops for export, there is no shade, it’s just coffee. So the plants have to work harder to survive. They need chemicals to help them meet their photosynthesis requirements that shade would’ve provided them,” he said. “In nature there is no monoculture.”

Lec teaches a workshop at the IMAP headquarters in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala. Photo by Zipporah.

The process of finding that alternative involved a steep learning curve, copious hands-on research and global travel. Lec poured himself into research on alternative agricultural practices and ancient Mayan traditions. Chinampas – often called floating islands – stood out as a first project to undertake. Lec and a cooperative of subsistence farmers called Ijat’z (which means “seeds” in Kaqchikel) with whom he had been working were able to reclaim a large swathe of flood-prone land along Lake Atitlan in San Lucas Toliman. There, they endeavored to hand-build the narrow grid of canals the system is known for.

Although their first attempt failed, Lec learned an important lesson that foreshadowed his introduction to permaculture. On a trip to the Permacultura America Latina (PAL) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he learned that the linear, angular canals they constructed were unlike anything found in nature. An expert there told him the trick was to work with nature, not against it.

Soon after, Lec traveled to Tasmania, Australia, to visit Bill Mollison, who is widely considered the father of permaculture and took courses on permaculture through PAL in Guatemala.

“Permaculture resonated with what I was doing because it’s based in ancestral knowledge from all over the world. Their first work was to research all the ways people made housing, clothing, medicine, not just agriculture. It’s biodynamic.”

War, family influence

For Lec, social leadership runs in the family. Throughout (and after) the 1970s his father and grandfather, a subsistence farmer, were involved with social programs run under the auspices of the Diocese of New Ulm (Minnesota) to “acquire land for the landless” in Guatemala, Lec said. He noted that with 80 percent of the fertile land in the hands of 3 percent of the population it was a contentious imbalance: “Without land we can’t build or farm, we can’t exercise our culture.”

Meanwhile, the Guatemalan Civil War, which erupted in 1960 (and wouldn’t officially end until 1996), continued throughout the country. His father was killed in 1981 when Lec was a child, a victim of one of the many counterinsurgency campaigns backed by the then-autocratic Guatemalan government.

“During that period,” Lec explained, “many people were persecuted even though they weren’t involved in the arms conflict. The government basically considered everyone involved in a social program to be an adversary or guerrilla. That included church leaders and cooperative leaders. Some people think of that time as a genocide.” (More than 80 percent of the 200,000 killed over the 36-year war were indigenous Mayans).

In 1988, with help from Diocese of New Ulm, Lec’s family sough sanctuary in Minnesota. His mother, who worked with the New Ulm priest, Father Gregory Scheaffer, to rescue orphans of the civil war, had received death threats.

Lec attended high school in New Ulm to learn English, graduating in 1990. By then, he said, the cold had “beat” his family, and they returned to Guatemala as the war showed signs of winding down. Lec, wanting to pursue a college education, chose to remain in Minnesota. Scheaffer helped secure him a full scholarship to attend St. Thomas, where he earned a B.A. in anthropology with a minor in justice and peace studies.

“My idea was to apply my anthropology studies and give back to my country and community,” he said. “It was an amazing experience, where I learned so much of the world through other people.”


With implementation of free-trade agreements looming, Lec believes IMAP will be needed more than ever. “They state that a country can only produce 10 percent of its seed requirement to be considered fair for competition,” he said. “Once that happens farmers will be prohibited from producing their own seeds.”

But there is a silver lining. With IMAP in its 15th year Lec is heartened to see people throughout the Mesoamerican region adopting permaculture and passing their knowledge on to others.

He recently learned of a young farmer who took classes at IMAP and is coordinating a seed bank in northwest Guatemala.

“He told us his seed bank is bigger and better! That’s great. It’s a big deal for us. That’s what we want!” he said.

Gustavus Career Development Office Launches “Handshake” Placement Technology

Gustavus Campus News - Wed, 09/16/2015 - 3:03pm

Cynthia Favre explains Handshake to senior management major Connor Perry.

The Gustavus Adolphus College Office of Career Development recently implemented Handshake, a new career service management system that will support the College’s 2,500 students as they seek postgraduate careers or further education.

The web-based platform is currently only available to 75 colleges and universities across the United States. Gustavus and Metro State University are the only schools in Minnesota whose students have access to the program. Other early adopters include Wake Forest University and Stanford University.

“We need to be on the cutting-edge. We need to be doing things that help our students move into the future,” Director of Career Development Cynthia Favre said. “This is a state-of-the-art tool for accessing information across all digital devices.”

Handshake will allow Gustavus career development staff to manage appointments, job postings, and campus events through an easy-to-use and intuitive interface. Students will have the ability to register for career fairs and information sessions, search employers, and even apply for positions directly through their Handshake account. Designed with college students in mind, the platform is mobile-friendly and uses social networking technology to connect students with friends, career resources, and most importantly, jobs.

“Handshake gives us the ability to break down career preparation and the job search into a step-by-step process,” Favre said. “Students will be able to use the technology to find the resources and support to manage their career path. Career searches can be overwhelming, but we’re here to give them the plan to move forward.”

Preparing for life after graduation begins as early as a student’s first class and continues throughout their time at Gustavus. This year, first-year students will use Handshake as part of a career development office partnership with the First-Term Seminar (FTS) program.

In addition to utilizing Handshake and other career readiness technology, the career development staff meets one-on-one with students, reviews resumes, and connects Gusties with employers both on- and off-campus. The office supports students of all aspirations as they seek mentorships, internships, graduate or professional school placement, or to begin a career. According to career development survey responses, 99 percent of Gustavus graduates are situated within six months after graduation.


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

CSB and SJU report 10-day enrollment figures

The total combined enrollment at CSB and SJU is 3,640 students, hailing from 37 states and 27 countries.

Clemens Lecture Series speaker to talk on happiness studies Oct. 7

Carol Graham, a pioneer on the economics side of happiness studies, speaks at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, in the Stephen B. Humphrey Auditorium, SJU.

Move-in Day: Carleton Class of 2019

Carleton College Campus News - Tue, 09/15/2015 - 3:31pm

The Carleton Class of 2019's first moments on campus.

Humans of St. Thomas: Mashael Aljahdali

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 09/15/2015 - 11:32am

The students are back on campus (welcome!), the faculty already are giving quizzes (ugh, right?), and we Newsroom contributors are ready for a fabulous and fresh year (woo!).

The Humans of St. Thomas series kind of went wild last year – which deserves another woo! Many of you screamed, “We want more!” More features, more often, and more and better photos! Be careful what you wish for. In response to your interest, I’ll be sharing the reins with some additional writers – a few of the brilliant literary types over in University Relations. As such, in the months ahead, you’ll get periodic breaks (third WOO!) from exclamation-point-loving and parenthetical-adoring me.

But not too fast – because, with the help of co-interviewer and St. Thomas senior Meredith Heneghan, I’m kicking off the second season of Humans right here, right now.

And what better way to begin than by introducing the interpersonally savvy, highly energetic and emerging leader Mashael Aljahdali? She’s a 25-year-old graduate student from Saudi Arabia; hates conflict (she calls it “heat”); loathes Minnesota winters; loves her family; wants to run a university; has five sisters and brothers; calls her dad her hero; and wonders why Americans are always too busy and work too much.

Tell us about you. And how you chose St. Thomas?

I graduated from King Abdulaziz University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. My specific major was human resource and management. Then I worked for one year and a half for a great company in Jeddah. Then I decide to gain my master’s degree abroad … (my family) suggested the city for me, and they said that St. Paul and Minneapolis – it’s a good place to start! … I live here with my brother, and also he has the same name. My name is Mashael, and my brother Mashal. He’s an undergrad student also here at St. Thomas. He’s studying engineering. My uncle also – he was a student here.

You’re getting your master’s in leadership administration. What’s your dream job?

So, I came here with goals and dream that need to be achieved by me! I was so excited to start studying here, actually to continue study something related to the HR. So, first of all I come here to enroll in HR development, human resource development. Then my adviser in my country said that we have enough people from this field, so just choose something else. I was like “what?”

You had to switch gears and programs pretty quickly.

St. Thomas has a great program in leadership administration so it attracted me. So, I just decide to continue to be a leader, maybe. Why not?! (My dream job) … to work at a university. To be in the administration there; to lead them!

You’re clearly going to be a leader and woman to watch!

So, I can see myself in the future as an active woman that will aid herself and her community; to improve the situation, with women employing independence. And I think that will happen by having a good education and having great opportunity to live abroad and see cultures, people. And I think our King Abdullah – may his soul rest in peace – had great vision to improve education in our country. And he supported the woman, very much. Yeah, he was so great. I think King Solomon also has the same vision.

Sounds like you’re someone with a pretty incredible vision herself.

I think it’s so important to have a job and do something – make some changes in the world. So this something – it’s like this is my goal or my target … that I want to achieve. I want to do something, not just be a person in life. (I want) to make a change!

Things that make you smile?

People. Active people! And babies.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you not smiling!?

I will be honest with you, when I came here, I was – I don’t know – nervous. Because I will leave my country, my culture and my people there. It wasn’t easy for me. It wasn’t easy for me. But I can say I overcome, because I love to be with people!

Describe your impression of people here – at St. Thomas and in the cities.

The first day here for me was when I started in the English school. I saw how the people were so kind with me and how they want to help people no matter what your religion or ethnicity or culture. So they just want to help! Maybe it depends on the state, I don’t know. But St. Paul, Minneapolis – people are so lovely.

Any favorite teachers at St. Thomas?

Yes! So my last semester was with Dr. (Artika) Tyner. … She’s so awesome! And Dr. Sarah Noonan. She’s so active. I love her. Dr. Bill Brendel. … He’s such an amazing person.

Technology in your life: Take it or leave it?

Oh my gosh, I can’t live (without it)! Really. Especially because I live here alone, so I need to contact with my family! No, I need it. I need it so much, really. And I’m good it! Instagram. I love it so much. Facebook, Twitter, what else? Vine, you know Vine? (I love) all of them.

You mentioned your mom earlier. She sounds pretty special.

My mom is my friend, not just my mom. So I love her so much. It was so hard for me to live here without her.

And your father?

So, he’s my hero. I can say that.My father – he’s a great person, really. He’s always pushing us to improve ourselves, to get education, to be something in this life. So I love him, really. He has a great vision to life, you know?

Greatest fear in life?

To lose my family. I love them so much.

Most surprising about life in Minnesota?

The lifestyle is totally different. Like in my country, we love to be with each other. Like for the lunchtime – all family come and eat together. Here, no! Everyone has something to do. Like this one has to work, and this one has to study or something.

Most annoying habit of Minnesotans?

People here – maybe not just in Minnesota, maybe in the United States overall – people love to work. They are just running, running. OK, just calm down! Really, they focus just on work. They don’t focus about family. They just want to work! Something needs to be done. I hate this.

Believe me, I know!

And I think I’ve become like you (Americans). I’m always running. I have to work, I have to do my homework.

But surely you love the Minnesota weather? (ha)

I came here in the summertime, so it was so nice to see the weather here. I loved the weather. Then, when the winter comes; it was like “what is this?!” Especially the last winter. It was terrible. The worst! And for me, I have never experienced winter in my life. So it was like “Oh my gosh.” I gave up.

Brag about yourself. (Long pause, and much encouragement, before the answer.)

Maybe something in my personality. Yeah, I love to meet people! I don’t know why but I love to do this. It’s like if I were in a group or something … I love to be the leader, make sure everything’s done.

As always, if you have an idea for a human you want to see featured, send your ideas my way: With our newly expanded team of motivated writers, we’ll need all the tips we can get!

I couldn't leave home without…

Carleton College Campus News - Tue, 09/15/2015 - 11:20am

Find out what the unique items the Carleton class of 2019 brought with them to campus.

Rubbelke Announces Retirement Following 2015-16 Academic Year

Concordia University Campus News - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 11:52am

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 - 10:44am

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!"

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