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Nearly 350 alumni return to Winona during Reunion Weekend 2015

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 7:43pm

The stories got more interesting and the laughter got louder as the weekend went on. About 350 attendees enjoyed reconnecting with each other, as well as their alma mater during Saint Mary’s Reunion Weekend June 26-28.

A group of ’85 alumnae pose during Saturday’s picnic.

Alumni who hadn’t seen each other for decades reached out for firm handshakes and heartfelt hugs. Several alumni who hadn’t seen the Saint Mary’s campus since they graduated were amazed to see the growth of the university, as well as its extensive educational presence.

The weekend included tours of the bluffs and campus, a fun run for all ages, a canoeing excursion, a community luau 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.”

Brother William congratulates Bill Jungbauer

Saturday evening, special honors were given including: Distinguished Alumnus Award, William G. Jungbauer ’75, J.D. of North Oaks, Minn.; the Alumni Appreciation Award, William Herzog ’70 of Lakeville, Minn.; and the Outstanding Young Alumna Award, Jennifer (Folgers) Baertsch ’05 of Winona.

Regardless of age, major, or location, alumni shared similar memories of excellent education, caring faculty, lifelong friendships, and a sense of community and belonging.

It was a weekend of rekindling friendships, telling (and occasionally embellishing) stories, and celebrating the successes of Saint Mary’s and its alumni.

Thanks go to all those who worked hard to prepare campus for these events. And thanks to everyone who attended; we hope you enjoyed your time with us, and we look forward to welcoming you home again soon!


Dr. Noel Shuell ’55, M’63 and and Brother Finbar McMullen ’46 reconnect after many years.

See more photos from the weekend!

Listen to this year’s alumni award recipients:





Saint Mary’s University GIS students to help find missing Minnesota fort

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 4:20pm

WINONA, Minn. — Today’s geospatial technology will soon be applied in the hunt for a 300-year-old historically significant site in Minnesota.

The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota M.S. in Geographic Information Science (GIS) program has been awarded a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant in the amount of $8,800. The Minnesota Historical Society awarded the grant as part of efforts to find the historical location of Fort L’Huillier, believed to be located near Mankato, Minn.

Fort L’Huillier was founded by Pierre-Charles Le Sueur around 1700. Le Sueur had begun mining along the Blue Earth River, only to discover what he thought was copper ore was “blue” clay. When Le Sueur returned to the fort, he found it attacked and abandoned with no sign of the 20 original settlers.

As the years passed, the location of the fort was lost. Numerous attempts to locate the fort, between 1835 to 1987, have been unsuccessful. The site is considered historically significant because this French Contact Phase location is important in the early history of Minnesota and the Upper Minnesota Valley.

Last summer, Saint Mary’s students in the Advanced Modeling and Analysis GIS class, researched the fort’s location for about a week. The project fit perfectly with the course objectives: to explore “real-world” modeling scenarios with practical and applied scholarship.

This summer, as part of the MHS grant, students will begin validating and expanding upon previous research, examining historical oral accounts and written documents for spatial clues.

“We plan to bring some newer technology to this project,” said John Ebert, assistant professor and GIS program director. “We will go through historic documents to find any special components that provide tangible mapping clues such as unique elevations or descriptive accounts detailing the fort’s location, such as ‘southern exposure located on the west side of the Blue Earth River near an inner bank corner.’ If we can effectively correlate as many of these clues together in one location, it will give us the best information to determine where to conduct new site visits for archeological digs.”

Once Saint Mary’s GIS graduate students identify the greatest potential locations for the site, archeologists will begin field investigations, which could occur in mid fall. Bear Creek Archaeology of Cresco, Iowa, is assisting with the project.

Several Saint Mary’s graduate students will continue to work on the project beyond the class.

Ebert said the likelihood of finding the fort depends on a variety of conditions. For example, he said, flooding may have erased evidence of the area or it may now be a developed subdivision or industrial area where limited or no digging may be possible. Additionally, many historic documents contain contradictions, and in more than 300 years, stream paths and geologic sites have changed significantly, adding to the complexity.

“We could find it. We could find nothing at all. Or we could find evidence that leads to further investigation. I’m hoping for anything except that we do not find anything.

“It’s not a needle in a haystack, it’s a calculated needle in a haystack,” Ebert said. “But I’m hopeful.”


Photo caption: John Ebert, assistant professor and GIS program director of Saint Mary’s University, and GIS student Zaid Alkhayyal review documents.

Paving the way in research for male school nurses

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 11:29am

When Tom Stinson began the literary review for his doctoral dissertation topic—male school nurses working in public schools—he found almost no existing research to study.

That just meant he would have to create his own.

As just one of three males out of 130 school nurses serving the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Anoka school districts, Stinson is nearly one-of-a-kind. He knew why he enjoyed his job—the daily challenges, the independence, the chance to help young people—but he wanted to find out the motivations of his colleagues as well. And after interviewing 10 male school nurses and creating a phenomenological study for his Ed.D. in Leadership, he found that their reasons for getting into the field were very similar to his.

“I could see myself in their answers,” Stinson said. “I didn’t interject my view into the dissertation. But I could tell why people do this: the daily challenge, the independence, the opportunity to work with kids.”

His study also revealed that the challenges are similar among “urban school nurses,” a term that Stinson coined himself. Poverty, language and cultural barriers, and increasing medical needs are making urban school nursing a challenging profession.

“Lower-income kids see nurses more than anybody,” Stinson said. “Lack of insurance, transportation, those are big factors. The language barrier can be a struggle, too. In my school, it would not be uncommon to need an interpreter to speak four different languages all in the same day.

“Then you have the increasing needs,” he said. “I’ve been an urban school nurse for 20 years, and 18 years ago I never saw diabetes in my students. Now, I might have to give insulin at school, and I might have to give students diabetes treatment 100–150 times a year, while they’re seeing their doctor just three times a year. There’s a part in the dissertation that connects these three core challenges, all reiterated by my study participants.”

With more needs comes more frequent care, but Stinson embraces it. He became a school nurse because he wanted to make a direct impact with the student population, and that impact was reflected in his research.

“We all build relationships with students over the years, and that helps us provide better care to the kids,” Stinson said. “After 100 visits, I can call a student’s parents for the 20th time. Every year I get 500 new kids and it starts over again.”

The overarching motivator to join the profession for Stinson’s study participants was a chance to work with kids. For Stinson, after initially planning to become a principal, he realized how nursing better fit his goals—and how pursuing an Ed.D. would make him even more skilled.

“I thought I could run a school pretty well,” he said. “I got my master’s in Educational Administration from Saint Mary’s, and I realized that I wanted the most impact possible. As a nurse, I get to have the one-on-ones with students as well as the group- and classroom-based interactions. Everything I did with my Ed.D. was around school nursing. I wanted to become a better nurse who could make my profession better.”

After completing his dissertation in 2014, Stinson’s project has become a model of excellence for both nursing students and Ed.D. students in general. That kind of recognition is extremely rewarding for someone who put so much work into his studies.

“There are some students who call me and they want to read my dissertation—that’s humbling,” Stinson said. “For me, for someone to look at my work in order to do their work, that’s so cool. My sweat and blood is in that document. I was told that my dissertation would be read throughout the world, and that’s pretty powerful.’”

Looking back, Stinson insists that he owes much of his success to his adviser, Dr. Rich Germundson, who provided him with close guidance through the entire doctoral process.

“(My adviser) and I met on a regular basis from the day I started to the day I graduated,” Stinson said. “I wanted the individual attention, and I got it; we had a phenomenal relationship.”

Music lover discovers English is his forte

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 8:55am

Paul Schmitt advises incoming college students to “leave yourselves open to experiences.”

The jazz musician and music aficionado discovered he had a profound interest in writing and studying literature. For a little extra spending money, he’s mapping wetlands with the GeoSpatial Services at Saint Mary’s. And he’s not too shabby at ceramics.

“You don’t need to have your life mapped out,” he said. “It became evident right away that I could be involved with everything I wanted to at Saint Mary’s, and my interests were very broad. This was the place where I could explore my passions, even if it wasn’t for my profession.”

The self-proclaimed “band geek” from Sebeka, Minn., originally thought music was his forte. With blue-collar working parents, Schmitt said he was raised to be practical. His parents encouraged him to think about his potential profession, and not just about getting a degree. Schmitt thought that the music industry program would provide him with the specialized training and job outlets he would need.

Through performing with the jazz band and the Oldie Moldie All-Star singing group, taking leadership roles in the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and getting on stage for the school’s music variety shows, Schmitt became immersed in the music scene. And although he credits the strength of the music program, he came to realize that English, and in particular literature and writing, was his true calling.

Always pragmatic, Schmitt first dabbled in public relations and copywriting, working for the Cardinal student newspaper as well as interning with an advertising agency in La Crosse, Wis.

“(English Department faculty member) Dr. Carolyn Ayers has been one of the most pivotal figures in my life,” Schmitt said. “She has helped me develop my interests by always pushing me and encouraging me, but also helping me to decide what I liked doing.” Once Schmitt decided to attend graduate school and become an English professor, he said Ayers helped him prepare for his GRE and provided professional advice on where to apply.

It was Ayers who first showed him his talent for writing. After taking her Russian literature seminar, he wrote a presentation titled “The Otherworldly Bureaucracy in Gogol’s Petersburg Tales” and took second place at the Interdisciplinary Student Research Symposium, held at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis.

For another English class, Schmitt examined 1920s modernist author Gertrude Stein’s “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas,” which uses the voice of Stein’s lover to talk about her in an interesting first-person, autobiographical twist. Schmitt presented a paper on this topic at the Sigma Tau Delta International Honor Society conference in Albuquerque, N.M.

After Saint Mary’s short-term study abroad to England last year, Schmitt stayed behind and traveled to Germany and France, retracing Stein’s footsteps in Paris. For his senior thesis, he is focusing on “Paris France,” in which Stein, by describing life in France just before World War II, anticipates the effect the war will have on modernism. “She struggled with how to continue to be relevant, as both her creative space of the French countryside and her social space of Paris were threatened by the impending war,” he said.

Dr. Carolyn Ayers said Schmitt’s senior thesis on modernist author and art patron Gertrude Stein “taps into a recent resurgence of interest in Stein’s writing in the context of autobiography and war writing. The project, which incorporates an impressive amount of research on Stein’s life, times, and critical reception as well as direct textual analysis, developed from a course paper into an independent investigation that took him from Fitzgerald library through numerous bookstores in the U.S. and abroad and even to visit some of Stein’s haunts in Paris. His work has particular relevance and has generated interest wherever he has presented it because it points to some interesting parallels between Stein as a self-promoter and reputation-maker and our contemporary culture of celebrity writers.”

Merging both of his loves, a Saint Mary’s professor connected Schmitt with editors of “The Current” public radio in the Twin Cities so he could write music-related stories. Over the summer, Schmitt served as a research assistant in the English Department helping faculty with their personal academic research, and he enjoys tutoring other students in Saint Mary’s writing studio.

At the beginning of his senior year, he started working for the university’s GeoSpatial Services on national projects simply because it piqued his interest … and he needed a job. And, he squeezed in a jazz tour of Ireland over spring break.

“Saint Mary’s provides opportunities for you to try out new things,” he said. “This is just a great place where you can find those outlets. And it exudes friendliness, and belonging, and a sense of home.”

Saint Mary’s University honors Brother Gerard Rummery with honorary degree

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 5:23pm

FARMINGTON, Minn. — In recognition of a lifetime of faith-filled service, Brother Gerard Rummery, FSC was presented with an honorary doctorate by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota June 18 in Farmington at a Lasallian Summer Retreat for Saint Mary’s faculty, staff, and students.

Brother Gerard was awarded a Doctor of Humanities degree, honoris causa, for his years of service to the De La Salle Christian Brothers as leader on the international level.

The award recognizes Brother Gerard’s 65 years of service to the worldwide Lasallian Family. Brother Gerard has been committed to the continuation of the Brothers’ shared mission with Lasallian partners, especially within his role as a teacher at the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies and at the Lasallian Leadership Institute, facilitator of Lasallian Summer Retreats at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Saint Mary’s College of California, and presenter at countless local, national, and international Lasallian retreats and conferences. He has also contributed greatly to the quality of Lasallian resources and publications and to a deeper appreciation of catechesis and religious education in the modern world.

Brother Gerard has been committed to the continuation of the Brothers’ shared mission with Lasallian partners, especially within his role as a teacher at the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies and at the Lasallian Leadership Institute, facilitator of Lasallian Summer Retreats at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Saint Mary’s College of California, and presenter at countless local, national, and international Lasallian retreats and conferences. He has also contributed greatly to the quality of Lasallian resources and publications and to a deeper appreciation of catechesis and religious education in the modern world.

Brother Gerard has been recognized by the Catholic Church as a renowned leader, scholar, historian, and teacher who has touched the hearts of those he encounters by willingly and graciously sharing the love of Christ and by inspiring his learners with the vision of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the De La Salle Christian Brothers.

The Catholic Church in 2015 celebrates those religious like Brother Gerard Rummery who have embraced the task of living publicly the gospel life of Jesus, being responsive to the needs of others, and serving the Church and the people of God.

Photo caption: Brother Gerard Rummery, an inspirational leader with the De La Salle Christian Brothers, left, received an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Three alumni to be honored at Saint Mary’s Reunion Weekend June 26-28

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 12:50pm

WINONA, Minn. — Each year during summer Reunion Weekend festivities, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota honors outstanding alumni.

This year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient is William G. Jungbauer ’75, J.D. of North Oaks, Minn.; the Alumni Appreciation Award will be given to William Herzog ’70 of Lakeville, Minn.; and the Outstanding Young Alumna Award will be given to Jennifer (Folgers) Baertsch ’05 of Winona. All three will be honored during a reception Saturday, June 27, on the Winona campus.

Approximately 300 alumni, family, and friends will return for Saint Mary’s Reunion Weekend festivities, which begins Friday, June 26, and will run throughout the weekend. To register, or for more information about the many activities and events planned, go to

2015 Saint Mary’s Reunion Weekend Honorees:


William G. Jungbauer ’75, J.D.   

Distinguished Alumnus Award

William “Bill” Jungbauer graduated summa cum laude from Saint Mary’s in 1975. In 1972, at the age of 19, Jungbauer was selected as the youngest member of the U.S. Electoral College in U.S. history. After Saint Mary’s, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with a law degree and joined Yaeger Law Firm. Since 1978 he has served as an employee, attorney, partner, and currently as president and senior partner of the national law firm headquartered in Saint Paul, now Yaeger & Jungbauer Barristers, PLC. Jungbauer has represented the Association of Rail Labor Attorneys and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers before the United States Supreme Court as Counsel of Record in filing of Amicus Brief. He testified before the United States House of Representatives’ full Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during a 2007 hearing on “The Impact of Railroad Injury, Accident, and Discipline Policies on the Safety of America’s Railroads.” Jungbauer has collected more than $100 million for railroad workers and their families in settlements and verdicts in federal and state courts around the country. He is a member and past president of the Academy of Railroad Attorneys and is the past national chairman of the Railroad Law Section, Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Jungbauer has published numerous articles and has lectured at schools and conferences. He served two terms as a Saint Mary’s trustee.

Jennifer (Folgers) Baertsch ’05  

Outstanding Young Alumna Award

Jennifer (Folgers) Baertsch graduated from Saint Mary’s in 2005 with a degree in public relations and electronic publishing. An outstanding athlete in cross country and track and field, she qualified twice for the Division III National Track and Field Championships. Baertsch was also active in the Cardinal newspaper, Cardinal Athletic Council, PR and Business Club, and as an intern in the sports information office. She also worked part-time as a sports reporter for the Winona Daily News. After Saint Mary’s, Baertsch received a M.A. in Sport Management from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She returned to the Winona area to become the development and communications specialist for Aquinas Catholic Schools in La Crosse, Wis. In 2008, Baertsch joined Winona National Bank as marketing coordinator, and in 2014 she was promoted to marketing communications officer. Baertsch has remained involved with Saint Mary’s since graduation, helping to promote her alma mater and speaking to current students, especially in the public relations and athletics disciplines. Baertsch is also chairperson of the Winona Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, a member of the Women in Business group, and she serves as a Junior Achievement classroom volunteer.

William Herzog ’70

Alumni Appreciation Award

William “Bill” Herzog graduated from Saint Mary’s in 1970 with a degree in business administration, and he earned his M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1972. While a student at Saint Mary’s, Herzog was an active member of the music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Over the years, Herzog—a resident of Lakeville, Minn.—has been a loyal benefactor and volunteer, and attended many alumni association events. Herzog served on the Alumni Board of Directors from 2002-08 and as alumni board president from 2006-08. During Herzog’s presidency, the board became a universitywide alumni board, integrating Schools of Graduate and Professional Program alumni with undergraduate College alumni. Also, the Veterans Memorial Project at the Winona Campus was developed under his leadership. Herzog also served on the Saint Mary’s University Board of Trustees from 2009-14. He served on several important committees during his voluntary leadership at Saint Mary’s including the Presidential Search Committee and the Planning Task Force. Herzog has financially supported a number of Saint Mary’s initiatives and programs, including the veterans memorial, past capital campaigns, Lasallian formation, and Saint Mary’s Fund, and he is also a member of the Lasallian Legacy Society.


Partnering on plant research in the Philippines

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 9:07am

An ongoing collaborative research experience is giving new meaning to the term long-distance learning. Nearly 8,000 miles apart, faculty and students from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and De La Salle University—Dasmariñas in the Philippines are collaborating on plant research, thanks to funds from a generous benefactor.

As part of a Saint Mary’s University Collaborative Lasallian Research Grant, Dr. Jeanne Minnerath, associate professor of biology, and Bridget Pethke, a Saint Mary’s senior biology-pre-physical therapy major from New London, Wis., are studying native plants of the Philippines and their anti-microbial activity.

Throughout the summer students at De La Salle University—Dasmariñas are collecting specific plants and extracting chemicals from the leaves, stems, and roots and then shipping the chemicals, known as plant extracts, to Saint Mary’s, where Pethke and Minnerath are examining their anti-microbial activity.

Their goal is to determine whether the plants inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms including bacteria and fungi. Their research falls under the International Association of Lasallian Universities research theme, “Food, Nutrition, and Health” with the focus area of food and human health.

The goal of this Collaborative Lasallian Research Grant is to further the research agenda of the International Association of Lasallian Universities, collaborate with other institutions, and to promote research findings to assist those who are in need.

From May 15-30, Pethke and Dr. Minnerath traveled to the Philippines to meet their educational partners including Dr. Melanie Medecilo, director of University Research and professor in the College of Science, and Dr. Willington O. Onuh, assistant Vice Chancellor for Research. While there, they met with Dr. Medecilo’s students and spent time learning their lab procedures.

The two also visited the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute and experienced the area’s native culture and sights.

For Pethke (who is also on the Cardinal women’s basketball team), it was her first time flying, her first time going overseas, and her first time seeing, much less swimming or scuba diving in the ocean. She also climbed a mountain, saw an active volcano, and experienced some of the country’s more impoverished areas, as well as their culture of generosity.

“I’m very fortunate to have been able to travel to the Philippines. It was an opportunity I didn’t see happening in my lifetime,” Pethke said. “I’m glad to have shared this experience with Dr. Minnerath. And I found learning how to interact within a different culture invaluable.”

Dr. Minnerath added, “This trip, and others I have taken, have made me realize how large our Lasallian community is and see that we all have the same goals even though we are thousands of miles apart.”

As part of this ongoing collaboration, Dr. Minnerath said, they are hoping that Dr. Medecilo and others are able to travel to Minnesota next summer, to both work in Saint Mary’s labs, but also to learn more about the natural environment of this area. Additionally, members of the same family of plants they are studying from the Philippines also grow in Minnesota, so a comparison study is being proposed.

Dr. Minnerath will present the results of their research this fall at the fourth annual International Lasallian Research Symposium Sept. 27-29, 2015, at the Twin Cities Campus.

Saint Mary’s Institute for Lasallian Studies and the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) co-sponsors the event, which draws more than 100 Lasallians from around the world to discuss the future needs and direction for Lasallian research.


Photo caption: Dr. Jeanne Minnerath and senior Bridget Pethke met with Dr. Melanie Medecilo, left, and Dr. Willington O. Onuh, right, while visiting the Philippines as part of their Saint Mary’s University Collaborative Lasallian Research Grant work.



Having a heart for medicine

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 4:13pm

WINONA, Minn. — Amy Zawacki knows, without a doubt, she wants to become a doctor specializing in pediatric cardiology. You could say she’s known—for some time—that she would like to practice medicine.

“If third grade is ‘knowing,’ ” the Eau Claire, Wis., native says with a huge smile.

But even as Zawacki adds the M.D. credentials after her name she never wants to get so engrossed in diagnosis that she loses site of “the compassion piece.” For her, it’s all about caring for her patients.

Zawacki, a biology major, currently works on the cardio floor at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

“I love my job,” she said with extra emphasis on “love.” “We work with people when they are at their most vulnerable,” she said, explaining that even the strongest individuals can be nervous before open-heart surgery.

“I know that I have to show compassion to every person that I treat,” she said. “My mom tells me that I may be the only happy person they see today, so if it means sitting five minutes at their bedside and holding their hand while they tell you about their grandchildren, it’s the little things that mean the world.”

It’s Zawacki’s hospital work that inspired her ongoing senior research project and thesis.

After taking an immunology class, Zawacki knew she wanted to study the immune system. “Because so many patients we work with at the hospital are diabetic, and because they spend a great deal of time in a hospital where they are exposed and susceptible to germs, I wondered if artificial sweeteners have a negative effect on their immune systems,” she said.

She treated mice with Splenda, which is made of sucralose, for eight weeks. Control groups were given water, sugar, a low dose of sucralose (equivalent to an average daily human intake) or a high dose of sucralose. She then immunized the mice and examined their blood. “I measured their antibody levels to see if one group had a significantly lower level,” she said.“We did not see a significant difference between the four groups.”

That there doesn’t seem to be a connection between artificial sweeteners and a decreased immune system didn’t necessarily disappoint Zawacki, who sees great benefit in doing research.

“Being able to do research is just another part of what makes this school really unique,” she said. “Every single biology and chemistry student has to do research. It’s a huge thing for an undergraduate student to have that kind of experience.”

Zawacki—who also serves as president of the biology club and Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honor Society—has presented her research at multiple conferences including the Immunology Conference in Chicago, where most participants were graduate students. “To be able to attend and present was a good experience for me,” she said. “These presentations have opened a lot of doors.”

She is also grateful that an internship this past summer through R&D Systems and a Saint Mary’s alumnus connection allowed her to continue her yearlong research throughout the summer. “It was nice to be able to stay on campus and complete my research; it was a real blessing,” she said.

It was the personal attention and the quality of Saint Mary’s science program that first attracted Zawacki to Saint Mary’s. “I toured a lot of places. The science department here is a phenomenal unit,” she said. “Faculty are all willing to help students, day and night, and that has made such a huge difference on where I am now. I can’t speak more highly of the science professors. They care just as much about us outside of class as in.”

Saint Mary’s Rochester Center to host information session June 25

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 10:45am

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will host an information session from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 25, at its Rochester Center.

All are invited to attend the event but especially individuals who are interested in pursuing bachelor’s degree completion or advanced degrees offered in Rochester. To register, click here.

Programs currently offered at the Rochester Center include:

Located in the Heintz Center, 1926 College View Road E, the Rochester Center was established in 1985. A partnership between Saint Mary’s and Rochester Community and Technical College enables simple transfer of credits for students who have prior education and want to complete a bachelor’s degree.

For more information on the open house or courses offered in Rochester, call 507-285-1410, email or visit

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



Saint Mary’s faculty member to present at school nursing conference in Washington, D.C.

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 10:02am

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Dr. Tom Stinson, instructor in the B.S. in Nursing program on the Twin Cities Campus, is one of four speakers presenting at a conference about school nursing in Washington, D.C., on Friday, June 12.

The event,  “Measuring and Assessing the Impact of School Nurse Practice on the Health and Education Outcomes of Students,” is hosted by The Albert Shanker Institute, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Public Health Association, and the National Association of School Nurses. The nation’s top researchers, practitioners, and policy professionals will discuss issues regarding the role and value of school nurses.

Stinson, a graduate of Saint Mary’s Ed.D. in Leadership program and a licensed school nurse at Harding High School in St. Paul,  is just one of three males out of 130 school nurses serving the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Anoka school districts.

Saint Mary’s University honors Brother Philip Rofrano with honorary degree

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 4:39pm

Photo caption: Brother Philip Rofrano, founder of the Martin De Porres Group Homes in New York, receives an honorary Doctor of Psychology from Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, left; and Marilyn Frost, a member of the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees, right.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — In recognition of a lifetime of faith-filled service to marginalized youth, Brother Philip Rofrano, FSC, was presented with an honorary doctorate by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota at its commencement ceremony June 7 in Minneapolis.

Brother Philip Rofrano, FSC, was awarded a Doctor of Psychology degree, honoris causa, for his inspirational leadership as founder and executive director of the Martin De Porres Group Homes in Springfield Gardens, N.Y.

The award recognizes that Brother Philip has celebrated 50 years of service as a De La Salle Christian Brother and dedicated 40 years of service at Martin de Porres Group Homes, where he mentored men and women who cared for those often referred to as “the least, the last, and the lost.”

The Catholic Church in 2015 celebrates the Year of Consecrated Life, recalling especially those Brothers and Sisters like Brother Philip Rofrano who have attempted by word and deed to bring compassion and the love of God to the sometimes forgotten and often marginalized members of society. And the Brothers of the Christian Schools, by the call of their recent 45th General Chapter, heightened their attention and recommitted their energies as Lasallians to serve humanity in distress, something Brother Philip has done for most of his life.

At its three commencement convocations June 7, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and its Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs conferred degrees to more than 350 graduates.

Saint Mary’s faculty member selected to participate in seminar on ancient Greece

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 9:37am

WINONA, Minn. — Judy Myers, professor of theatre and dance at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, is one of a select group of faculty members nationwide chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Center for Hellenic Studies to participate in an Ancient Greece in the Modern Classroom seminar on “Song Culture of Athenian Drama.”

CIC and the Center for Hellenic Studies recently selected 19 faculty members to participate in “Song Culture of Athenian Drama,” which will take place July 20–26, at the Center for Hellenic Studies campus in Washington, D.C. Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University, and Kenneth Scott Morrell, associate professor of Greek and Roman studies at Rhodes College, will lead the seminar. The seminar is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Strengthening the teaching of the classics at colleges and universities is of critical importance. This seminar series addresses the challenge of keeping alive in undergraduate education classical texts that a generation ago were read and understood by every college graduate,” said CIC President Richard Ekman.

Designed for non-specialists, the seminar will focus on the work of Euripides, a playwright from the fifth century BCE. Participants will explore the performative aspects of his plays and the ways he drew upon, adapted, and transformed a range of lyric traditions. Participants also will compare the choral song making of Euripides to the approaches of other contemporary composers of tragedy (and comedy) and situate it within the parallel forms of song making that survive from sixth century Lesbos and elsewhere.

For 10 years, CIC has collaborated with the Center for Hellenic Studies to provide seminars on teaching the classics for small and mid-sized independent colleges that have a limited number of faculty members or courses in the classics. The seminar is ideal for faculty members who have been trained in other disciplines and who seek opportunities to explore major classical texts and learn new ways to teach these texts to undergraduates.

For more information, visit the CIC website at

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

The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 750 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars, and other programs that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, and institutional visibility. CIC conducts the largest annual conference of college and university presidents. CIC also provides support to state fundraising associations that organize programs and generate contributions for private colleges and universities. The Council is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C.

Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies, located in Washington, D.C, was founded by means of an endowment made “exclusively for the establishment of an educational center in the field of Hellenic Studies designed to rediscover the humanism of the Hellenic Greeks.” This humanistic vision remains the driving force of the Center for Hellenic Studies. The Center brings together a variety of research and teaching interests centering on Hellenic civilization in the widest sense of the term “Hellenic.” This concept encompasses the evolution of the Greek language and its culture as a central point of contact for all the different civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world. Interaction with foreign cultures, including the diffusion of Roman influence, is an integral part of this concept.




Recent grad is ‘Caring for the Country’ on nationwide service trip

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 9:12am

Photo caption: Luke Kubic (fourth from right) and other Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota students on the S.O.U.L. service trip that inspired Luke’s idea to volunteer across the nation.


For now, climbing the corporate ladder can wait.

Unlike typical college graduates, Luke Kubic ’15 is postponing doling out résumés and scouring the want ads. Instead, he’s prepping for a mission trip that he’s hoping will take him to every state in the nation to help those in need.

The Coon Rapids, Minn., native is calling it “Caring for the Country.”

The idea grew after a life-changing service trip his junior year at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Over spring break, he volunteered for a S.O.U.L. trip at De La Salle Blackfeet School on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Mont., through the Office of Campus Ministry.

“It was the combination of working with students who needed additional help in the classroom, seeing new places, meeting new people, and feeling like I was really making a difference,” he said. “I couldn’t stop smiling. I left there thinking, ‘How can I take that feeling and turn it into an every day feeling?’ ”

Kubic and some friends began planning a service tour of all 50 states, making arrangements to volunteer in every state along the way.

Although conditions didn’t work out for the others to make the trek, Kubic remained passionate about the idea. He’s planned a route, stopping at a few cities he and his friends had always wanted to visit, but he emphasizes this isn’t a vacation. “It’s not about being a tourist; it’s a mission trip,” he said. “And I didn’t want to go too far out of the way. I don’t take asking for donations lightly, and I want to be conscious of what I’m spending on fuel.”

He’s asking for donations of $6,500 to make the excursion possible. To defray costs, he’s contacting churches in each area to inquire if any parishioners are able to house him during his stay, and he’s made additional contacts in the De La Salle Christian Brother network and with other family and friends.

He’s hoping to complete a wide variety of volunteering: working with youth and the elderly, and assisting in homeless shelters, Humane Societies, churches, soup kitchens, or anywhere he is needed.

Under the motto “No dream is too big and no kind deed is too small,” Kubic will travel from Aug. 1, 2015 to March 1, 2016, and will make 62 stops along the way. His first stop is La Crosse, Wis., and then he will begin winding his way down to Arkansas.

Why seven months? Kubic’s little sister is graduating next spring, and he’d better be back home in time to celebrate.

The Sports Management and Marketing major says he’s thought of creating a nonprofit to help others share the same experience. “I’d love to turn this into something bigger, but I’m taking it one day at a time,” he said. “I’m focusing all my energies on this trip.”

Kubic has created a blog to share his experiences along the way ( “The more people I can bring on this journey, the better it will be,” he said. “My mission is to make a positive impact on the world and to inspire others to do the same.”