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Selling ideas in just 60-90 seconds

Wed, 04/20/2016 - 10:36am

By Nicole Johnsen ’16

The Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Mary’s University is focused on the entrepreneurial spirit of businessmen and women. One of the many ways the institute evokes this spirit is by hosting the Elevator Pitch Competition. This year’s event was held on April 7 and featured seven entries, including my own.

My name is Nicole Johnsen. I’m a senior Business Management major and Dance minor. I decided to participate in the Elevator Pitch Competition because it’s a great way to improve my speaking skills and to feel more comfortable in front of a group of people. It also is a fun experience to come up with an idea that no one might have thought of before.

Elevator Pitch Competition participants are asked to imagine that they’re in an elevator with someone who has the funding and connections to help you make their entrepreneurial dreams become a reality. The goal is to pitch that dream creatively and convincingly in just 60-90 seconds. Any Saint Mary’s University undergraduate student in any area of study can partake in the competition.

I did my pitch on a service called the Cardinal Club Delivery Service, which would deliver food to the Winona Campus residence halls. I came up with the idea after hearing students complain about having to walk out into Minnesota’s winter weather to fulfill their hunger needs. I thought, “Why not have a delivery service to save our bodies from the cold and keep our students happy?”

The experience of standing up in front of several professors here at Saint Mary’s can be very intimidating. I remember the first time I participated in the Elevator Pitch Competition; I could feel my hands shaking nervously as I rehearsed my pitch over and over again. This year was my third time participating, and although I still get nervous, I felt more at ease. It is all about having fun with it!

The other contestants who participated (and their business pitches) were:

  • Junior Matthew Sandell: a portable charger
  • Senior Thomas Garside: a school radio franchise
  • Senior Dong Min Lim: an ordering system for restaurants
  • Junior Maddy and Freshmen Max Champa: a customized designer website
  • Seniors Katie Slaght and Brittney Friedrich: Cellublast — an electronic foam roller
  • Junior Maria Antonieta Morales-Lozano: SMUber (an Uber service at SMUMN)
  • Freshmen James Davis: a new student app for campus needs

The judging panel consists of several professors from different departments, including business, art, and science. They score the contestants on their performance, and announce the top winners at a gathering given for the participants. I would encourage every student to be a contestant because you learn how to portray confidence in yourself. The Elevator Pitch has helped me learn to deliver a presentation with enthusiasm, making better eye contact, and avoiding filler words.

Welcome to Spring Preview Day, April 23

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 12:17pm

It’s time to think about life after high school. High school sophomores and juniors — get your college search going at Spring Preview Day on Saturday, April 23.

At this introduction to Saint Mary’s University you can tour our Winona campus, learn about academics, and meet staff and students. We’ll explain the college search timeline, review scholarship opportunities and financial aid, and show you why Saint Mary’s should be at the top of your list.

Find out more and register now for Spring Preview Day (until midnight on Wednesday) at

Come see the world of opportunities at Saint Mary’s University!

Tackling Health Care Shortages is Priority

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 9:58am

By Susan Jarosak and Marcia Hines

By the year 2025, the number of people in Minnesota aged 85 years and older will double. Randy Snyder, Executive Director of the Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators (BENHA) shares this startling statistic from the state demographer’s office when he talks about the need to educate and train leaders in the field of long term care. Snyder wants to highlight the opportunities and the need to create new models for efficient and quality services to meet the demand of the aging population. “New models for leaders will be needed to work in this field as it blends both business and compassion for people. It blends both the heart and the brain.”

Additionally, national trends are emerging that require administrative academic preparation and skillsets across the continuum in home healthcare and assisted learning communities. At this time, only Nursing Home Administrators must be licensed in the state of Minnesota by BENHA.  As a result, health and human services administration is a dynamic, growing field that needs highly capable, empathetic leaders. It offers skilled individuals the opportunity to put their talents to use by improving the lives of those who need it most. 

Currently, there are nine institutions offering the requisite BENHA coursework. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota offers the only master’s degree with this coursework embedded within it. Kristel Lastine, a current student in the Master’s of Health and Human Services Administration program, is completing her practicum course — a 400 hour experience in a nursing home offering experiential, hands on learning and a requirement for licensure. As a result of her preparation, Lastine has already passed her state and national licensure examinations. She also feels ready to tackle the large issues facing long term healthcare facilities–such as addressing huge turnover rates that can often diminish the level of care given to residents. “One huge issue is the lack of pay,” she said. “It’s difficult to keep CNAs, LPNs, and RNs, and turnover rates are tremendous. I want to have a place that residents call home, and where employees can have a career and continue advancing in their careers,” Lastine said, ready to model and lead with both her heart and her brain.


Alumni in Action: Sister Katharine Donohue, OP M’71

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 11:15am

Giver, Caretaker, Teacher
Hometown: Watertown, N.Y.
Major: M.S. in Biology

Sister Katharine Donohue, OP, has been a Catholic Sister for 57 years. Her religious name was Sister Julitta. Born in Watertown, N.Y., she is the daughter of the late Edward and the late Julia (High) Donohue. She graduated high school from the Academy of our Lady, Peoria, Ill., in 1956. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Dominican University in River Forest, Ill. Her ministry has been dedicated to health care. Sister Katharine served in administration at Visitation High School in Chicago from 1971-1974, and as a registered nurse at Columbus Hospital in Chicago from 1976-1977. She worked at St. Dominic Villa in Dubuque, Iowa, as a nurse aide from 1974-1975, and as director of nursing and registered nurse from 1977-1982. Sister Katharine then served as home health nurse with the Public Health Department of Kingstree, S.C., from 1983-1985. She ministered as a family nurse practitioner in Hyden, Ky., from 1987-2006, and has been at Prevea Health, Sheboygan, Wis., since 2009. Sister Katharine has also ministered in Nebraska.

Read more Alumni in Action stories.

Brother Jerome to receive lifetime achievement award from Nordic Ski Association

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 2:47pm

The Minnesota Nordic Ski Association will posthumously honor 11 individuals with the Minnesota Nordic Skiing Lifetime Achievement Legacy Award during an awards banquet Saturday, April 9, in Mora, Minn. The late Brother Jerome Rademacher, Saint Mary’s physics professor and founder and caretaker of the Saint Mary’s ski trails, will be honored. This award honors deserving individuals who passed away before the award was established in 2006 or died unexpectedly after 2006. This award is given to individuals who have contributed significantly to the advancement of Nordic skiing in Minnesota.

Saint Mary’s to expand program offerings at Cascade Meadow

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 11:43am

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Starting May 1, the Saint Mary’s University School of Education and School of Business and Technology graduate­-level (master’s and doctoral) courses currently offered at the Heintz Center, 1926 College View Road East, in Rochester will move to Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center, 2900 19th Street N.W., in Rochester.

Saint Mary’s bachelor­-completion courses will continue to be offered at RCTC/Heintz Center, and the Graduate School of Health and Human Services programs will transition to Cascade Meadow at a future date yet to be determined. While Saint Mary’s will retain a presence at RCTC, its Rochester Center location and staff will transition to Cascade Meadow during the coming months.

Saint Mary’s plans to continue to serve students in this growing region with its person-centered education. University officials believe these changes will help the university to continue to provide an excellent and affordable education as well as to better utilize its resources.

Cascade Meadow is located just north of Hwy 14 and west of Hwy 52. The facility includes free and ample parking, as well as a stellar environmental setting where students can enjoy nature and walking trails before and after class as well as during breaks. The classrooms will be equipped with technology and flexible furniture options to meet the needs of adult learners.



Caped crusaders support Cassidy family

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 11:28am

Jogging for Jack Superhero 5K at Saint Mary’s

raises money for coach’s 2-year-old son

WINONA, Minn. — Some superheroes wore capes; others simply wore tennis shoes.

More than 300 people came out to support Jack Cassidy, the 2-year-old son of Saint Mary’s University women’s soccer coach Neil Cassidy, by participating in the Jogging For Jack Superhero 5K on the Saint Mary’s Winona Campus April 10.

The Cassidy family recently discovered that Jack has a tumor on his jaw, diagnosed as Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH). Jack is currently being treated with chemotherapy, steroids, and steroid injections.

And on Sunday, the Saint Mary’s community, members of the Winona community, and friends of the Cassidy family turned out to show their support. As Jack is a fan of Superman, and showing heroic courage as he battles cancer, participants were asked to wear their superhero costumes in support.

“My family and I were overwhelmed and truly thankful for everyone that showed up to support Jack,” Neil Cassidy said. “Words cannot express our gratitude for everyone who traveled to Winona for the 5K.

“The Saint Mary’s community is a very special community to be a part of—the support directly from this community has been amazing,” Cassidy added. “We have to say a special thanks to (student-athlete) Jase Pater and (athletic director) Nikki Fennern for doing an amazing job with the 5K! We also want to thank the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Pete Watkins and his Sport Management class, and all the volunteers that helped make the event happen.

“And a special, thankful shout-out to my women’s soccer team, who all showed up to take part—you are awesome!”

According to Fennern, Sunday’s 5K, along with a campus “Tailgating For Jack” fundraiser on April 7, raised more than $7,000 for the Cassidy family.

“It’s amazing how several communities—Saint Mary’s, Winona, Rochester and others—can come together for such a great cause,” Fennern said. “It was amazing to see so many people in their superhero outfits in support of the biggest superhero of all—Jack Cassidy. This event could not have happened without the hard work of so many.”

Fennern also noted that donations continue to be accepted on Jack’s behalf. To donate, contact the Saint Mary’s athletic department by calling 507-457-1579 or emailing

To see photos from the day, go to

Photo caption: The Saint Mary’s University soccer team joined their coach Neil Cassidy and his family April 10 in the Jogging for Jack Superhero 5K fundraiser for Neil’s son, Jack.




Saint Mary’s Choirs to perform April 23

Wed, 04/13/2016 - 11:01am

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Choirs will perform a spring concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at the Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels.

Under the direction of Dr. Patrick O’Shea, Saint Mary’s Choirs offer a variety of choral music at their annual spring performance. Both accompanied and a cappella works will be presented, spanning 500 years of musical history.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the Saint Mary’s box office, 507-457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at Tickets at the door are available by cash or check only.

Seeing concepts in action outside of the classroom

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 9:33am

By Chloe Morrison ’17

Here at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, what you learn in the classroom matters. But, it’s also important for students to see the concepts they learn in action—in the “real world.” Throughout the 2015-16 academic year, students from a variety of majors had the opportunity to go outside the classroom and continue to learn more about their interests and experience new things.

The Public Relations/Business Club took a trip in October 2015 where they visited the Saint Paul Saints’ and the Minnesota Wild organizations and home stadiums. During the tour of the Saints’ stadium, the students heard from Chris Schwab, the assistant general manager of the team. Schwab discussed how the team is run and all the marketing and communication aspects that go into running a minor league baseball team.

After that, the students toured the Xcel Energy Center, where Minnesota’s NHL team plays. While they toured, they met Jora (Deziel) Bart ’01, a Saint Mary’s alumna and current public and media relations senior manager for the Xcel Energy Center, along with the rest of the communications staff. They discussed the different marketing and communication factors that go into setting up events for the Xcel Center. From the excursion, one student attendee, senior Gretchen Lueck ’16, a Spanish and Public Relations major, landed a recent volunteer opportunity helping at the U.S. figure skating championships, held at the Xcel Center.

“The Public Relations/Business Club went on this trip because we wanted students to see what is outside the classroom in the professional world,” said Saint Mary’s communications professor Dean Beckman. “I want them to see what the professional world is like in the field they would like to go into in the future.”

The Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and the Entrepreneurship Club took students on a trip to the Twin Cities March 18 to talk with successful entrepreneurs. Great Clips’ CEO Rhoda Olsen gave the students a tour, and during their question-and-answer session, she shared how to get started as an entrepreneur, different franchising challenges and requirements that come along with it, and what the future holds for Great Clips. Olsen imparted a lot of advice, both professional and personal, on what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur. As an added bonus, each student also received their own bag of specialty items from Great Clips. “Olsen is very straight forward and she was a joy to listen to,” said senior Dance Administration major Markeith Wherry. “Her story was inspirational and relatable.”

The group also met with the CEO of NimbeLink, Scott Schwalbe, at the Saint Mary’s Twin Cities Campus. NimbeLink is a very different company from Great Clips. While Great Clips is more established, NimbeLink is growing, with more than $2.5 million in funding. NimbeLink’s focal point is the Internet of Things, which is a $1-trillion industry that focuses on the idea of every day objects having network connectivity, which allows them to send and receive data. NimbeLink primarily sells cellular modems. Schwalbe spoke with the students about his journey that led him to this high-tech industry and what it takes to run a small but growing company.

“My experience visiting with the CEOs of Great Clips and NimbeLink was an amazing way to learn about entrepreneurship, franchising, the histories of the companies and the people who run them,” said Public Relations major Olivia Osterbauer ’18. “I had a great time learning from them and having the opportunity to hear their knowledge and experience in areas where they have been extremely successful.”

“This trip was a great opportunity for students to see the principles we discuss in class put into practice and learn from people with experience in different industries,” said Saint Mary’s business professor Chandu Valluri. “Hopefully this trip allowed students to paint a realistic picture of what being an entrepreneur is like and showed them that entrepreneurs are humans and they make mistakes, but their passion drives them.”

At Saint Mary’s, outside-of-the-classroom growth and learning opportunities exist for students in other areas as well. For example, the Learning Living Communities (LLC), which are optional programs that help first-year students connect based on common interests, recently offered a local rock-climbing trip. The LLCs that offered the trip, #wellness, Extreme Athletes and the College Experience, and Wide World and Sports, took students to a Winona-based rock-climbing facility. “The residents really seemed to enjoy the experience, and we had a wide range of climbers on the trips,” said Resident Assistant Abbie Fangman ’17. “Some residents were experienced climbers and for others this was a trip to help them concur their fear of heights.”

“It was great to see the students keep trying to make it up the walls as well as the students who had the goal of making it up every wall,” said Resident Assistant Kathryn Homan ’18. “By the end of the night, the students asked when we could come back next!”

At Saint Mary’s, opportunities abound to foster growth. Faculty members, students, and alumni continually offer new learning experiences to students.

Photo caption:Scott Schwalbe, CEO of NimbeLink, met with Saint Mary’s students as part of a trip hosted by the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and Entrepreneurship Club at Saint Mary’s University.

Hendrickson Forum to feature former U.S. Ambassador and honor 3M leader

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 9:10am

Jon Huntsman

Saint Mary’s 2016 Hendrickson Forum will feature former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr. The April 20 event, “Global Leadership: Our Future with China,” is presented by the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership.

Huntsman is the former Governor of Utah (2005–2009) and former U.S. Ambassador to China (2009–2011).

Huntsman shares with his audiences his keen insights on today’s headlines—from China and the economy to business abroad, cyber security, and intellectual property protection.

Huntsman began his career in public service as a staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He has since served four U.S. presidents in critical roles around the world including Ambassador to Singapore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Asia, U.S. Trade Ambassador, and most recently U.S. Ambassador to China. In addition to his federal and international service, he was twice elected Utah’s governor.

As the co-chair of the Intellectual Property Commission, Huntsman is at the forefront of developing robust and creative solutions to mitigate the damage of cyber attacks on proprietary networks, reduce the exponential theft of intellectual property in the U.S., and enforce policies to decrease future threats from China and infringing nations.

He currently serves as the chairman of the Atlantic Council and co-founder and honorary co-chair of No Labels, while also hosting a weekly radio program on SiriusXM called No Labels Radio with Jon Huntsman.

This luncheon event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., with check in and networking beginning at 11 a.m. at the Saint Mary’s University Center on the Twin Cities Campus. The event is open to the public, and tickets are $50 general admission; $25 for Saint Mary’s alumni and employees; and $10 for students. Advance registration is required. More information and online registration is available at

Inge Thulin

The program also includes the presentation of the Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership, which honors an outstanding individual who, through his/her work, has demonstrated the principles of ethical leadership.

The 2016 recipient is Inge Thulin, chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer of 3M. As the leader of a science-based company, Thulin recognizes the importance of investing in research and development. This investment extends to the elevation of the company’s brand promise of “3M Science. Applied to Life.” 3M applies science in collaborative ways to improve lives and create solutions to global problems. With $30 billion in sales, the company’s 90,000 employees connect with customers around the world.

3M has consistently ranked among the world’s most admired, most ethical and most respected companies. Sustainability is also ingrained throughout the company’s portfolio of businesses. For the 16th consecutive year, 3M was listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. A strong believer in teamwork and collaboration, Thulin has invested significantly in leadership development programs for 3M’s people. The return on this investment is reflected in 3M’s recognition on Chief Executive Magazine’s 2016 list of the Best Companies for Leaders.

Saint Mary’s Jazz Ensembles plan end-of-the-year performances

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 10:38am

WINONA, Minn. — This spring the Saint Mary’s University Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo 1 ask the musical question, “What is hip?” From the grooves of Tower of Power to “Uptown Funk,” you won’t want to miss a moment of this tribute to the music that mixes soul, jazz, and R&B! The funk-bomb drops Sunday, April 24, at 3 p.m. in Page Theatre.

Rounding out the spring semester will be the semi-annual Jazz Final on Sunday, May 1, starting at 2 p.m. on the Saint Mary’s Plaza. Twice a year, all the jazz groups get together for an informal afternoon of great music in a casual setting. The event is free, and public is invited to join the musicians as they celebrate the end of another great semester of jazz at Saint Mary’s. (In case of rain, the event will be held in the Cardinal Club.)

For more information, contact director of jazz studies, A. Eric Heukeshoven at 507-457-7292 or Tickets to the April 24 performance are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the Saint Mary’s box office, 507-457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at Tickets at the door are available by cash or check only.

Spring concert lineup

Fri, 04/08/2016 - 10:11am

The Department of Theatre and Dance and the Dance Repertory Company of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will present the concert, Words in Motion, 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 15, and 3 p.m. Saturday, April 16, in Page Theatre. For more than four decades, the Dance Repertory Company (DRC) has delighted the Winona community with … Continue reading


Enjoy the musical talents of Saint Mary’s students as the Chamber Orchestra performs its spring concert 3 p.m. Sunday, April 17, and the Chamber Ensembles perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, both in Figluilo Recital Hall. The Academy Award-winning film The King’s Speech effectively featured many great classical music excerpts. The Saint Mary’s Chamber … Continue reading


The Saint Mary’s Choirs will perform a spring concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at the Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels. Under the direction of Dr. Patrick O’Shea, Saint Mary’s choirs offer a variety of choral music at their annual spring performance. Both accompanied and a cappella works will be presented, spanning … Continue reading


This spring Saint Mary’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo 1 ask the musical question, “What is hip?” From the grooves of Tower of Power to “Uptown Funk,” you won’t want to miss a moment of this tribute to the music that mixes soul, jazz, and R&B! The funk-bomb drops Sunday, April 24, at 3 p.m. … Continue reading


Alumni in Action: Joe Thompson ’01

Thu, 04/07/2016 - 10:22am

Educator, Peace Corps Volunteer
Hometown: Lake City, Minn.
Major: Elementary Education

As a student, Joe Thompson was an active member of the Saint Mary’s community. His fun-loving antics were enjoyed by those on the cross country, track and field, and cross country skiing teams, as well as by fellow student campus ministers. After completing his four years at Saint Mary’s, he had a desire to continue learning, as well as implement what he had already learned by teaching others. In 2001, Thompson joined the Peace Corps and served in Lesotho, Africa for two years, teaching and forming native educators. After the Peace Corps, he started teaching in Minnesota and was an assistant coach in a collegiate wrestling program. In 2008, Thompson moved to Seoul, South Korea, where he was a lead teacher and grade 5 classroom teacher until the spring of 2014. A strong example of what Lasallian education seeks to produce, Thompson is a person who is not afraid to reach out to an ethnically diverse community. In the process of educating others, he found his wife and continues to learn and teach grade 4 in St. Paul.

Read more Alumni in Action stories.

Seuss and Gatsby come to life during dance concert April 15

Wed, 04/06/2016 - 10:44am

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s Department of Theatre and Dance and the Dance Repertory Company of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will present the concert, Words in Motion, 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 15, and 3 p.m. Saturday, April 16, in Saint Mary’s Page Theatre.

For more than four decades, the Dance Repertory Company (DRC) has delighted the Winona community with quality dance productions, featuring local dancers in classical and contemporary works. This year the DRC presents a production inspired by literature. The DRC is the pre-professional performance group of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA). Company members participate in rehearsals, technique classes, and stage performances.

This production will feature pieces from numerous genres of dance including hip hop, modern, jazz, tap, contemporary ballet, and pointe. As a special treat for audience members, Winona’s independent bookseller, The Bookshelf, will have a variety of books related to the dance concert available for purchase. A portion of book purchase proceeds will be donated to MCA to support the dancers and production costs.

When choreographer Christine Martin considered her contemporary rhythm tap piece “Rhythm of the Soul” for the show, she chose—as her inspiration—a quote from Beethoven, “Don’t only practice your art but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”  Tap has its own secret language.  Martin worked with her dancers to elicit emotional and impactful dance focusing on the artistry of tap.

For a pointe ballet piece inspired by the beloved poem “Footprints in the Sand,”  choreographer Rachel Nehring was inspired by its meaning—that none of us get through hard times alone; that we are all bolstered by forces either seen or unseen like family, friends, community, and faith.  This classical piece, “Footprints,” features the music of Shostakovich.

Tammy Schmidt’s contemporary ballet piece, “Hot Dishes and Memories” is a portrait of Minnesota life through the seasons.  Author Peg Meier’s book Wishing for a Snow Day, the written inspiration for this ballet, features collected diary entries from Minnesotans from many decades, newspaper articles and photographs, all used to give a portrait of growing up in Minnesota. To choreograph this jubilant and high-energy ballet, Schmidt focused on the verbs in the journal entries to drive the choreography. Featuring dancers of many ages and abilities, this ballet will bring you back to your childhood.

“Kid You’ll Move Mountains,” the hip hop piece for this year’s show, features the work of choreographer Jessica Dienger. When Dienger considered what written work might go hand-in-hand with her routine, the whimsical Dr. Seuss quickly came to mind. Utilizing some of her favorite stories, including The Sneetches, Oh the Places You’ll Go, and The Butter Battle Book, Dienger weaves together a high-impact piece.

“No one leaves home, unless home is the mouth of a shark”—This evocative stanza in poet Warsan Shire’s “Home” gives voice to the plight of millions of refugees worldwide.  Choreographer Jennifer Taber-O’Neill’s beautiful modern dance piece features three talented dancers in three interludes, bringing the audience into the emotional journey of those forced to flee everything they know and the people they love. In the end, we are left with the encouragement that something can be done about this crisis.

The show will close with “One Night at Gatsby’s” by choreographer Jessica Dienger who takes us back to the Roaring ’20s, to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in a high energy jazz piece. Utilizing period costumes, the audience will be transported to the party scene where Gatsby attempts to get Daisy to come to his house. Dienger utilizes a modernized version of a Charleston style for this piece.

Tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $10 for adults and may be ordered online at or at the Saint Mary’s Box Office, 507-457-1715, from noon to 6 p.m. weekdays. For more information about MCA or the DRC, visit, e-mail, “like” them on Facebook, or call 507-453-5500.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts offers programming in dance music, visual art, and theatre, year-round. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for children ages 18 months and older through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at 1164 West 10th St.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Photo caption: Mattie Kreisel will be part of the Words in Motion dance concert Friday, April 15, at Saint Mary’s University.

WAPS art students display work in April at Galleria Valéncia

Tue, 04/05/2016 - 11:41am

WINONA, Minn. — Galleria Valéncia at Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) is filled unique pieces of artwork created by Jeffery Morgan’s art students at Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS). Contributing artists attend Jefferson STEM Elementary and Goodview Elementary.

During the month of April, visitors to the gallery will enjoy colorful artwork that was created using a variety of mediums and elements of design. Many of the pieces exhibited were created when students worked with artist-in-residence Andrew Foss, which was an opportunity made possible by an Artists in Education grant from the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) and a monthly grant from the Winona Area Public Schools. Visitors are encouraged to sign the guestbook, so that the young artists know who attended the show.

The public is invited to a small reception to celebrate the young artists from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, inside MCA’s home, the Valéncia Arts Center, located at 10th and Vila streets.

MCA is in the process of setting up art shows for the upcoming school year. If schools or artists are interested in displaying their work in Galleria Valéncia, contact Jamie at

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University, a nonprofit organization, offers programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for youth ages 18 months and older through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center. For more information, go to, email, or call 507-453-5500.

Saint Mary’s Chamber Orchestra and Ensembles to perform April 17 and 21

Tue, 04/05/2016 - 11:25am

WINONA, Minn. — Enjoy the musical talents of Saint Mary’s students as the Saint Mary’s University Chamber Orchestra perform its spring concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 17, and Chamber Ensembles perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, both at Figluilo Recital Hall.

The Academy Award-winning film The King’s Speech effectively featured many great classical music excerpts. The Saint Mary’s Chamber Orchestra’s spring concert, under the direction of Dr. David Leung, will highlight different pieces of classical music used in and inspired by the movie. Dr. Jun Qian, clarinet professor from Baylor University, will perform Mozart’s timeless clarinet concerto after the delightful overture to his opera The Marriage of Figaro. This concert will also feature the second movement of Beethoven’s seventh symphony and the beautiful “Introduction and Allegro” by English composer Sir Edward Elgar.

The Saint Mary’s Chamber Ensembles will perform a concert titled “Music of German Romanticism,” where music faculty members and students will present an evening of transforming and dramatic chamber music composed by Beethoven and Robert Schumann.   Both strongly rooted in the German heritage, Beethoven influenced Schumann’s compositions both musically and philosophically, especially in the writings of symphonies, solo piano works, and chamber music. This chamber music concert will begin with Beethoven’s serene Cavatina movement from his late string quartet Op. 130 (as featured in the final scene of the movie Immortal Beloved), followed by his string trio Op. 3—a work composed during Beethoven’s youthful years with lots of Mozartian touches. The concert will conclude with Schumann’s heroic piano quintet in memory of the composer’s death 160 years ago.

Tickets for the Chamber Orchestra concert are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the Saint Mary’s box office, 507-457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at Tickets at the door are available by cash or check only. The Chamber Ensembles Concert is free and open to the public.

The Hidden Workplace Drug Epidemic

Fri, 04/01/2016 - 4:12pm

by Susan Jarosak

Workplaces are increasingly feeling the impact of painkiller use and abuse and it’s costing them plenty–$25.5 billion a year in absent employees and lost productivity according to one study cited in a recent article, “Combatting the Prescription Drug Crisis” published in Human Resources Magazine. The article described the human and financial toll on organizations and communities as they deal with the effects of this form of drug use.

Prescription painkillers are considered a hidden workplace epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any other year on record and six out of 10 deaths involved opioid painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet.

According to the National Safety Council, most workplaces do not address the issues that arise due to lack of information.  In a recent survey of companies, most had no formal written policy on using these medications at work.

Another challenge for workplaces is understanding the broad reach of the crisis and who it is likely to affect. “Everyone,” says John Jankord, program director for Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s graduate certificate in addiction studies. “It’s not just the truck drivers and the grounds crew. It may well be the sales manager or CEO.” The reality of this crisis is that it can and does affect all ages who share a common trait–they are in pain, and in most cases keep it hidden from their families and employers because of the stigma of being a drug abuser. Keeping it a secret from employers for fear of being fired adds to the problem, but not seeking treatment can be fatal. Jankord says, “In our work with clients, most are scared to admit their problems to their employer because they don’t want to lose their job. Many are unaware of the physiological addiction potential and believe the medications to be completely safe since they were prescribed by a medical health professional. Licensed alcohol and drug counselors can work with clients to recover and regain control over their lives, but the workplaces need to be informed about how they can support employees.”

Improvements benefit students, welcome alumni

Fri, 04/01/2016 - 2:04pm

Improvements and renovations in the Winona Campus Toner Student Center will add functional spaces for students and create a welcoming place for returning alumni. A new computer lab is already up and running in the lower level and a sound-proof music practice room has been added to that same area.

Thanks to the generosity of a 1966 alumnus, we have also begun work on the Merle F. Wilberding Alumni Room. This alumni heritage room will be a welcoming, interactive space that highlights key points in Saint Mary’s history—and the people who tirelessly devoted their lives to the university. It will also feature stories of and testimonials from graduates who benefited from a Saint Mary’s education and excelled because of it. The project will be ready for unveiling at this June’s Reunion Weekend.

Caption: A new computer lab is available to students in the lower level.

Hall is transformed into apartments

Fri, 04/01/2016 - 2:00pm

The university continues to pursue ways to create a vibrant Winona Campus and transformational residential experience. The renovation of Saint Yon’s Hall will result in apartment-style living spaces attractive to both current and potential students. A variety of configurations on the three residence hall floors, as well as the former Christian Brothers residence, will feature desirable options for single and double bedrooms, suites, and lounge spaces.

Each air-conditioned apartment will include a kitchen and private bathroom, and students will have access to a computer lab, cardio room, laundry room, and spiritual reflection space. The apartments will be available in fall 2016 for 46 juniors and seniors.

Caption: Jim Bedtke, vice president for university facilities (right), hosted a tour of Saint Yon’s remodeling for Eric Doyle, Student Senate president; Stefanie Lucas-Waverly, dean of students; and Alexandra Spurlin, student worker in Student Life.

Innovative new majors, minors for fall

Fri, 04/01/2016 - 1:58pm

Two academic departments will offer innovative new and updated programs next fall in line with our mission to prepare students to lead and serve in their careers and communities.

New in the Communication Department:

  • Digital Media and Journalism major (an exciting mix of courses in web authoring, social media, multimedia production, marketing, advanced newswriting, and graphic design).
  • Strategic Communication major (an appealing stand-alone or double major option for students in art, business, public relations, marketing, journalism, or other majors. This major also includes new leadership courses.)
  • Updated Public Relations major.
  • Minors in Digital Media and Journalism, and Leadership.

New in the Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics Department:


  • Computer Data Science major (an in-demand field of study that offers three concentration options: Computer Science, Data Analytics, and Geographic Information Science).
  • Minors in Computer Science and Geographic Information Science.