Saint Mary's Campus News
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University students will take to the Page stage Nov. 2-5 for an 18th century case of mistaken identities in the boisterous comedy She Stoops to Conquer (OR the MifTakes of a Night).
One of the most produced and popular “laughing comedies” of its century, She Stoops —written by Oliver Goldsmith—mixes delightful deceits and outrageous deceptions into a romantic romp of plots, subplots, marital strategies, and laughable confusion.
Under the direction of Dr. Jimmy Bickerstaff, the cast will remain true to the time period and intent in which it was written—using elegant period costumes and rich language. The tried and true approach has been a favorite with audiences for over 240 years.
In the show, two refined young men arrive at the country estate of Mr. Hardcastle, hoping to court his daughter Kate and her cousin Constance. When local trouble-maker Tony Lumpkin plays a practical joke on the two suitors, the Hardcastle household is turned upside down in this hilarious comedy that also examines romance, manners, love, and social standings.
“Goldsmith wants us to think about the masks that we wear for other people,” Dr. Bickerstaff said. “We’re all acting. He wants us to think about the roles we play in public vs. the roles we play in private.”
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 2-4, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and are available at the Saint Mary’s box office, 507-457-1715, from noon to 6 p.m. weekdays or online at pagetheatre.org.
More than 4,600 students are enrolled in Saint Mary’s Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs. As different as each of their background stories is, every student chose Saint Mary’s because of a desire to improve themselves personally and professionally, as well as for its accessibility. To call their experiences transformational is an understatement. At Saint Mary’s, they learn brighter futures are within reach. Here is just one of their stories.
To Trhas Berhane ’13, C’14, M’17 earning her degrees from Saint Mary’s means just a little more.
Berhane, a native of Ethiopia, completed her bachelor’s degree—and now her master’s degree—all while working full-time, raising a family (including having two babies), dealing with a difficult pregnancy, and helping her mother overcome cancer.
Berhane said that, through it all, she was determined to complete her studies, and to create a brighter future for her family.
“When you have kids, you think, ‘I want a better future for them,’” she said. “They were my inspiration to keep going.”
Berhane’s family came to the U.S. when she was 2 years old. Unable to speak English, Berhane said they immigrated without a penny to their name.
“But they raised us well and tried to get us a better life—the American Dream,” she said.
Her parents continue to be two of her staunchest supporters, and cheered her on this fall as she earned her M.S. in Geographic Information Science.
“My family is very proud,” she said. “I’m the first in my family to go to college. It’s a big deal.”
Despite all of the difficulties she faced, Berhane said the hardest part was simply re-starting.
Although she had begun her studies toward a bachelor’s degree, she began working in marketing at General Mills, and “got comfortable.” Plans to continue her education were put on the back burner. But when opportunities to advance her career arose, Berhane found often couldn’t apply because she didn’t have her bachelor’s degree.
After hearing about Saint Mary’s from a friend, she met with Dr. Paul Christenson, assistant dean for the Graduate School of Business and Technology, who helped her put together an education plan that she knew was obtainable.
In June 2013, she earned her B.A. in Marketing, but she didn’t stop there. Through one of her classes, she was introduced to geographic information science and was inspired to continue for her master’s degree.
Through it all, there were more than a few bumps in the road.
“It was one thing after another. I asked God if he was trying to test me,” she said. “Sometimes you want to give up, but you can’t do it. I thought, ‘I don’t have the time to do school work; I’m working and taking care of a baby.’ But you need to take it one day at a time and just know that it can be done.”
Berhane continued working full-time at General Mills for most of her studies. She gave birth to two babies, now 2 ½ and 4 months. Her mother was also diagnosed with lung cancer, and Berhane became one of her caregivers. On top of all that, one of her pregnancies had complications.
“You need to surround yourself with the right people,” she said. “It takes a team of people to help you. But anything is possible.”
Berhane said she is grateful for her family support and the support of her Saint Mary’s community.
“I was able to talk to my teachers and tell them what was happening in my life. They were understanding and used Blackboard to share reading materials and videos, so I could keep up on my studies and use all the tools around me to help me succeed,” she said. “I worked hard, but I had a team of supporters including my husband and my teachers and classmates at Saint Mary’s.”
Berhane especially thanks GIS associate professor Greta Poser. “Without her, I don’t know if I would have been able to finish the degree,” she said. “She would make time to come out, even on her days off, to help us with homework or answer our questions. She went above and beyond.”
Berhane’s mother is now cancer-free, and Berhane has a new job she enjoys with the Department of Transportation. As a research analyst, she uses her GIS skills to help the DOT update their road maps, using her GIS skills.
“Plus my boss is an alum of Saint Mary’s,” she said. “And I work with maybe four other alumni.”
Berhane recommends Saint Mary’s to others. “I tell them, ‘You’ve got to go there; they’re so great.’ ”
WINONA, Minn. — With new leadership, visionary ideas, and innovative community collaborations, the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Mary’s University is announcing its fall schedule of events. The public is invited to watch as students pitch their passions and participate in important community discussions about the social and economic impacts of entrepreneurship. Above all, the public is invited to celebrate and support entrepreneurship at the regional and student level.
The goal of the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies is to ignite an entrepreneurial spirit in students across all fields of study at Saint Mary’s. What is an entrepreneurial spirit? It is the drive to innovate or improve what already exists, to create new methods or processes, to be a change-maker, and to not accept the status quo.
To cultivate that spirit, events are designed to connect motivated students with successful business owners who can provide mentorship and a place-based learning experience that will allow students to learn, grow, and identify their passions.
The Kabara Institute helps students:
- explore options for tailored internships while still in school;
- design and develop their business ideas through year-over-year mentorship; and
- connect with entrepreneurial-focused businesses to develop relationships that will support the local community and provide a launch pad for their personal passions.
- ENACTUS: A social entrepreneurship team is forming on campus to design and execute a business idea that will have a positive impact on the Winona community: http://enactus.org.
- Internship Job Fair — Oct. 25, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Toner Student Center. The Kabara Institute partners with the Business Department and Career Services to co-sponsor a fall job fair on campus. Students will meet with prospective employers interested in offering internships as well as job opportunities. The institute seeks to promote place-based learning through internships with employers who wish to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit within our student body.
- Guest Speaker Meredith Speier — Oct. 27, 12:30 p.m., Toner Student Center, Room 9. The Kabara Institute and the PR/Business Club will co-sponsor this dynamic speaker and entrepreneur who started the company InSpeier in the Twin Cities. Her client portfolio includes Best Buy, Graco, and Capella University. Come hear how she leverages market research to improve the customer experience.
- Startup Weekend — Nov. 3-5. In partnership with Collider Core, Saint Mary’s is pleased to offer our students the opportunity to participate in this national program. Students will collaborate with a team of entrepreneurs to design a business plan for an emerging idea over the course of an intense weekend.
- 1 Million Cups — Nov. 8. The Kabara Institute is excited to partner with the City of Winona and other key local organizations to bring this global entrepreneurial program to the Winona area. Based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and network over a million cups of coffee, the Kauffman Foundation developed 1 Million Cups—a free program designed to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs with their communities.
- Arts and Entrepreneurship Panel Discussion — Nov. 9, 7 p.m., Figliulo Recital Hall. Key players in the regional arts industry—including the directors of the Great River Shakespeare Festival, MidWest Music Fest, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, and the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts—will share their experiences in bringing arts-based businesses to Southeastern Minnesota. The public is invited to hear how the arts contribute to our entrepreneurial landscape. A reception will be held 6 to 7 p.m. in the lobby of the Performance Center.
- Elevator Pitch Competition — Nov. 14, 4 p.m., Saint Mary’s Hall, Room 409. Students will pitch their business ideas in 90 seconds or less for cash prizes. A panel of professors from across campus will offer feedback and help students take this initial idea and work toward a more comprehensive business plan to pitch in spring.
- Student Entrepreneurial Showcase — Nov. 16, 6 to 8 p.m., Saint Mary’s Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center, Rochester. Students will present their projects at a community demo event co-sponsored with Rochester Rising.
- Guest speaker from the manufacturing industry (January)
- “Science in Business” speaker panel event (February)
- Business plan pitch competition (March)
- Guest speaker on medical business development (April)
- 1 Million Cups sponsorship and engagement with the business community (monthly)
About Christine Beech
Christine Beech is an assistant professor of business and the executive director of the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. Christine has extensive teaching, research, and consulting experience in the areas of strategic management, leadership development, contract management, succession planning, social entrepreneurship, and small business management. Prior to joining Saint Mary’s, Christine spent 15 years in the corporate world, where she led the development of a multi-million-dollar business line for a global consulting firm before launching her own consulting business in the Washington, D.C., area. Before transitioning into business, Christine served in the military, enjoying a 20-year career in the intelligence field.
Brad Hauser ’17 spent his college hockey career analyzing how to increase the percentage of goals kept out of the Cardinals’ net; now he’s helping the Minnesota Wild analyze how to increase their revenue and grow the game of hockey across the state.
The business intelligence and data analytics major from Gurnee, Ill., landed the ideal start to his dream career as a marketing intelligence intern for the Minnesota Wild at the beginning of September.
From day one he hit the ground running, creating reports and crunching numbers for a variety of departments, all to increase audiences and visibility, as well as the overall fan experience.
He and his team members are currently focusing on web content and email messaging to increase target audience engagement and ticket sales.
“Ultimately we are determining how to get people to come to their first Wild game or Wild event and to keep them coming back and to grow the Wild name in Minnesota. We are working to create a greater ‘state of hockey,’ ” he said.
One marketing campaign the Minnesota Wild recently utilized was a “This Is Our Ice” event, where fans could bring in small containers of water from local hockey ponds, lakes, and rinks, which was then added to the ice for the 2017-2018 season at the Xcel Energy Center.
“We worked in conjunction with the marketing department to make sure the message was getting out there, and now we are using the data from this event to gather geographic information on where participants came from. The farthest water came was from Hawaii,” Hauser said. “The goal is to create a fan demographic so we know how we can better serve them.”
Hauser also helps pull ticket purchase histories, assists with database issues, tracks hashtags on social media, and supports the sales and service team with compressing data and organizing it into an easy-to-read format. “The big project now is we’re compiling data on all of our season ticket holders and putting together personality reports, including if they have kids and even what their dog’s name is,” Hauser said. “We’re creating theme nights based on these profiles. If a large percentage of our ticket holders have kids, we should consider doing more kid-related themes and events. We’re a big organization but we want to know our customers on a personal level.”
With the season getting under way, Hauser’s main responsibility is game-day reporting, including gathering data in every area from ticket sales to food and beverage sales. “We’ll look at how fans traveled here and how they interacted once they were in the arena, and we will compile all that information and compare it to previous years’ games at the same time period. From there, we send that report out to the team president and other top-level executives to give them a bird’s eye view of how everything in the arena went the previous evening.”
Hauser said it was taking classes with Michael Ratajczyk at Saint Mary’s that first got him excited about majoring in business intelligence and data analytics. “His enthusiasm and love for what he was teaching was contagious, and he put everything into a real-world perspective,” Hauser said. “I could see the value in knowing these skills. He was so invested in making sure that each individual student knew what they were doing and why they were doing it.”
Hauser credits his overall classroom experiences, as well as the strategic management presentations, for preparing him for his current position. “In strategic management, I learned how to present and to anticipate those tough follow-up questions. It gave me the confidence to know that I can answer any questions in a board room full of executives. It took the fear out of public presentations.”
Completing two internships, one at Fastenal in Winona and one at Piper Jaffray in Chicago, while he was a student also helped him gain valuable skills. After a taste of the financial side of data analytics with those internships, Hauser said the Wild is the perfect place to begin his career. “I’ve been an athlete all my life and played hockey at Saint Mary’s. Hockey has always been my first love,” he said. “I knew that I wanted a career working for an NHL franchise after graduation and being a part of the Wild organization is a great place to be.”
“It’s such a great environment to work in,” he said. “On game nights, the most rewarding part is looking out over a filled arena and seeing the enjoyment of the fans.” Hauser explained that so far, he loves getting up and going to work each day because every day brings new challenges. “Ultimately I’d like to work my way up to perhaps one day being the president of a team, like John McDonough ’75 (president and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks). For now, I’m excited to be a part of the Wild and to have recently been accepted into Saint Mary’s graduate studies program in business intelligence and analytics.”
MINNEAPOLIS — More than 350 adult learners will graduate from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and its Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs on Saturday, Oct. 14, during Commencement Convocation, with three separate ceremonies at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3 p.m.
The ceremonies, to be held in the Saint Mary’s University Center on Park Avenue in Minneapolis, will feature five graduates who have been invited to provide reflections. Another five graduating students will be honored with Saint Mary’s Outstanding Final Paper and Outstanding Dissertation awards.
The following graduating students will speak:
- James Patrick Dougherty, B.S., Information Technology and Lance Thomas Huston, M.A., Organizational Leadership — 10 a.m. ceremony
- Maria Angelica Fuenzalida Zapico, M.A., Educational Leadership — 12:30 p.m. ceremony
- Hannah Noel Lussier, M.A., Counseling Psychology and Cynthia J. Swanlund, Psy.D., Counseling Psychology — 3 p.m. ceremony
The following graduates will be honored with Outstanding Final Paper Awards:
- Aaron Scott Peterson, B.S., Business Administration
- Shaheen Somani, M.S., Accountancy
- Lucus James Bogle, M.A., Education
- Nicholas David Vasquez, M.A., Marriage and Family Therapy
The following graduate will be honored with the Outstanding Dissertation Award:
- Susan Arneson, Psy.D., Counseling and Psychology
As a geographer and cartographer, Caroline “Siffy” (Erickson) Torkildson M’10 not only creates maps of the world, she is also trekking around the world using maps. And her M.S. in Geographic Information Science from Saint Mary’s is helping her go places.
Most recently she’s been accepted into the Society of Woman Geographers as part of a prestigious group of women explorers, and researchers who “know no boundaries.”
On her website she states, “Even before I could read, I pored over atlases and National Geographic magazines, dreaming of faraway lands. I feel as Annie Peck wrote, ‘My home is where my trunk is.’ ”
Torkildson originally attended Saint Mary’s as an undergraduate for a year before she transferred to study oceanography, but her love of maps led her to geography. A subsequent stint in the Peace Corps took her to Madagascar.
In her 40s, she decided to go back to school to study GIS and become more employable, as computer mapping was in its infancy when she was in college. When she began researching programs, she was happy to return to Saint Mary’s for its strong reputation.
“John Ebert and Dr. Dave McConville were both so supportive and encouraging and patient,” she said. “Because of them I stuck with it, and I was determined.” She jokingly compares getting through the program to her recent climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. “I wasn’t sure I’d make it to the top but I did. Getting through the program, I was also nervous, but I made it,” she said.
Before she completed her capstone project at Saint Mary’s, she was offered a position with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Landscape Ecology Research Lab in Nevada. “I was hired because of my GIS skills, so it really has opened doors for me,” she said.
At the EPA, Torkildson completed her capstone project on finding the best location to grow native grasses for biofuel near the Koda Biomass Facility in Minnesota, which related to the renewable energy program at EPA.
For the EPA she also did sea level rise modeling for regions in North Carolina and California, as well as for the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Maine as part of a sustainability program to help tribes with environmental and health concerns. She also looked at the proximity-to-green-space in cities and how it affects health and well-being.
After five years at the EPA, she reconnected with an old friend in Germany and ended up getting married. She found a job using open source GIS programs, such as QGIS, for a contracting company in Germany, through which she uses high-resolution satellite imagery for terrain analysis in Germany and Eastern Europe.
“Having learned basics of GIS from Saint Mary’s, I’ve been able to apply those skills to learn new open-source programs,” she said. “Saint Mary’s professors were helpful, the smaller class size was beneficial, and the curriculum was really good. There was a variety of spatial analysis, programming, database management, internet mapping, all the different aspects of GIS. And it was all practical in the real world. There was also a class on grant writing and how to write a proposal which has helped me in my work.”
In her husband, she found her soulmate and exploring partner. In her life, she’s traveled to the Himalayas in Nepal, the Sahara in Morocco, Europe, Alaska, Patagonia, Nepal, and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania—remote areas of the globemany have never experienced.
And, together, they publish anthology books through their company, Sacred World Explorations. Last year, they published The Walkabout Chronicles, which contains writings by 35 authors, several of whom are well-known explorers. Their new book, The Pilgrimages Chronicles comes out in November, and Torkildson is also researching the life of Annie Peck—one of the original Society of Woman Geographers members—for another book about traveling in her footsteps.
Torkildson credits her GIS classes for helping her become more technology savvy in the publishing world as well.
When Torkildson discovered she had been nominated and accepted into the Society of Woman Geographers, she wrote to Ebert and Dr. McConville to share in her excitement. “Both of you were important in me receiving this award, as my education and subsequent research for the EPA were part of my application process,” she said.
Torkildson now joins a prestigious society membership that includes noted researchers such as Jane Goodall and Sylvia Earle. There are currently 500 members; some of the historical members include Margaret Mead and Mary Leakey.
“I’m a geographer; it was always my love, and the society was founded in the 1920s by women who were not accepted into the Explorer’s Club, like Amelia Earhart. When I was in geography in the ’80s, there weren’t many women. But I think it’s getting better for women in science overall and also women in geography. Half of my class in GIS at Saint Mary’s were women.”
She tells future women geographers that they need to “live the life you imagine.” “I’ve always been a very curious person, and I think curiosity is very important.”
Top photo: Trekking in the Himalayas, Nepal
WINONA, Minn. — Elementary and preschool children from the Winona area are invited to attend the 16th annual Saint Mary’s University Halloween Fun Night from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30.
Participants should stop at the guard booth at the main entrance of the Winona Campus for directions on where to park.
Young trick-or-treaters should start out the evening at the Hall of Fame Room, located in the Toner Student Center, where tattoos and stickers, a coloring station, and other fun games will be offered, and the Cardinal mascot Big Red will greet pint-sized ghosts and goblins.
From there, Saint Mary’s students will lead groups of trick-or-treaters through the residence halls of the university, where they can go door to door for candy.
Last year more than 700 youth participated in this free, safe, and fun event, sponsored by the Office of Residence Life.
WINONA, Minn. — Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts advanced tap dancers were selected via audition to perform in the Twin Cities Tap Festival Showcase on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cowles Center in Minneapolis. Under the guidance of Instructor and Choreographer Christine Martin, the dancers will perform “Counting Stars,” a performance about reaching for the stars, counting blessings, and expressing joy of life, rhythm, and movement.
Performers will include: Carter Full, Hannah Graff, Nathan Graff, Viva Graff, Nadia Hocum, Justine Meinke, and Lucy Wilfahrt. Through the rehearsal process, the dancers have spent time exploring concepts like gratitude, communication, confidence, and the power of artistic expression.
Winona-area dance enthusiasts don’t have to travel to see the performance; everyone is invited to attend the dancer’s final dress rehearsal on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, located at the Valéncia Arts Center at 10th and Vila streets. This 15-20-minute performance is free and open to the public and will include the dance performance and an explanation of the process.
Information about the festival can be found at www.twincitiestap.com.
WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts was selected as one of only 15 nonprofit organizations throughout Minnesota to receive a grant from Aroha Philanthropies through its new statewide initiative, “Seeding Vitality Arts MN.”
Chosen from a highly competitive field of applicants, Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is among the second cohort of grantees to partner with Aroha Philanthropies in this seminal initiative designed to support the development and expansion of successful creative aging programs.
Vitality Arts programs inspire and enable older adults to learn, make, and share the arts in ways that are novel, complex, and socially engaging. The work is driven by teaching artists whose creative process and understanding of older adults bring joy, connection, improved health and well-being, and a renewed sense of purpose to older adults in community and residential settings.
Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is excited to join Aroha Philanthropies at the forefront of the emerging field of creative aging. Aroha Philanthropies’ generous grant of $12,500
will support three unique eight-week workshops for older adults in collaboration with the Winona Friendship Center. The workshops will be focused on painting and dance, and a special intergenerational program in mulit-media art will welcome older adults and area youth to participate together. These free workshops will take place April 2018 through November 2018, so stay tuned for details.
Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is pleased to partner in the Seeding Vitality Arts MN initiative to not only support the community but also contribute to a growing movement to bring the many benefits of creative aging to communities far and wide.
For more information about Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, visit smumn.edu/mca. For more information about Seeding Vitality Arts MN, visit vitalityarts.org.
The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University, is a nonprofit organization offering programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for youth ages birth through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center. For more information, go to smumn.edu/mca, email email@example.com, or call 507-453-5500.
About Vitality Arts
The broad field of creative aging encompasses many things: arts education, arts in health care, creativity for those with dementia, and more. Arts education programs—those that inspire and enable older adults to learn, make, and share the arts in ways that are novel, complex and socially engaging—make up a subset of the creative aging field. Often referred to as artful aging programs, they are led by teaching artists whose creative process and understanding of older adults bring connection, improved health and well-being, and a renewed sense of purpose to older adults in community and residential settings.
Aroha Philanthropies views these programs as even more than artful aging. With the term Vitality Arts, they aim to champion arts programs that keep individuals vital, joyful, and engaged by unleashing the transformative power of creativity in those 55+. More information is available at vitalityarts.org.
About Aroha Philanthropies
Aroha Philanthropies is devoted to the transformative power of the arts and creativity, inspiring vitality in those over 55, joy in children and youth, and humanity in adults with mental illness. They believe that learning, making, and sharing art enriches everyone throughout their lifetime. Aroha Philanthropies works to improve the quality of life of people 55+ by encouraging the funding, development, and proliferation of arts programs designed to enhance longer lives, and by advancing the development of professional teaching artists working with those in their encore years. More information is available at arohaphilanthropies.org.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Merri Moody, DNP, CRNA, APRN—as part of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesia Foundation Closed Claim Research Team—was presented with the 2017 John F. Garde Researcher of the Year Award during the American Association of Nurse Anesthetist (AANA) Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress Sept. 8-12 in Seattle. Moody is the director of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s M.S. in Nurse Anesthesia and B.S. in Nursing programs.
Moody was a member of the original team of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) who convened in 1995 to analyze insurance claims where CRNAs were involved in or contributed to an adverse anesthetic event. In 2013, four of the original team members revitalized the initiative with eight new research team members. The new team has enhanced the closed claims research by conducting rigorous qualitative analysis to enrich the research findings. Since its inception, the Closed Claim Research Team has produced over 100 presentations, 25 posters, and 10 published articles addressing anesthesia adverse outcomes.
As part of the initial research group, Moody helped develop the case evaluation instrument, establish inter-rater reliability, and review the first available closed claims.
“This group formed to improve patient care and safety,” Moody said. “I am honored to have received this award and even more honored to have been a part of this important work.”
The John F. Garde Researcher of the Year Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the practice of anesthesia through research. John F. Garde, CRNA, MS, FAAN, was a leader and visionary in nurse anesthesia in particular and healthcare in general. Among his many accomplishments and achievements, he was a staunch supporter of research and the AANA Foundation.
Photo caption: Moody, second from right, was part of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesia Foundation Closed Claim Research Team, which received the 2017 John F. Garde Researcher of the Year Award.
WINONA, MN – The Page Series at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota presents Broadway’s Next H!t Musical, a fully-improvised musical theatre experience, Friday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Page Theatre.
The show begins as a theatrical awards show, where master improvisers gather “nominees”—made-up song suggestions from the audience—and then perform them on the spot. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full-blown improvised musical, complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and plot twists galore.
The Page plans to make a red carpet affair out of the evening. Audience members are invited to dress for the occasion, and the theatre will roll out a red carpet for audience arrivals. Once in the lobby, audience members will be able to pose for pictures, sip champagne, and enter their song suggestions. Performance Center Managing Director Theresa Remick calls the event, “Black tie optional. We welcome those who want the true Phony Awards experience to wear their red carpet best and really have fun with it, but of course, jeans are welcome too!”
Broadway’s Next H!t Musical has been seen at Tribeca Film Festival and at the New York Musical Theater Festival, among many others. Under the direction of improv veterans Rob Schiffman and Deb Rabbai, TheaterWeek hailed the show as “brilliant” and The New York Post called Broadway’s Next H!t Musical “remarkable.”
Earlier in the day, cast members will offer a musical theatre improvisation workshop, featuring improv games and musical improvisation. The free workshop will take place from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Page Theatre, and is suitable for those of high school age and above who have had some musical experience. Registration is required, and a registration link is available at pagetheatre.org.
Tickets to the performance are $27 for adults and $24 for students and senior citizens. Tickets and additional information are available at pagetheatre.org or by calling 507-457-1715 (noon to 6 p.m. weekdays).
About the Performance Center
The goal of the Performance Center at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is to be Southeastern Minnesota’s premiere performing arts center, bringing artists and community together through imaginative programming, unique collaborations, a welcoming atmosphere, and exceptional service. The Performance Center strives to be the venue through which artists and community connect, where audiences can experience a variety of cultures through quality performances of music, theatre and dance, and discover the relevance of the arts in their daily lives.
Page Series activities are 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. Educational and community programs are made possible through the support of the Xcel Energy Foundation.
WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University fastpitch softball team is showing leadership on the field … and in planning new scares for this year’s “Walk of Horror.” Once again, these athletes are guaranteeing goosebumps for all those brave enough to face their fears.
The 21st annual hair-raising fundraiser for the Saint Mary’s Cardinal fastpitch softball team will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 20-21 and 27-28, and Tuesday, Oct. 31 in the campus bluffs. Walkers are asked to meet on the lighted path between the Cardinal baseball and softball fields, where the haunted walk will begin.
Groups are then escorted through the dark bluffs for approximately 20 minutes.
The cost is $6 for adults, $5 for students with ID, and $5 for children 12 and younger. Tickets are available at the gate.
Saint Mary’s head fastpitch softball coach Jen Miller said the event is fun for all ages. The scare level is toned down for younger children and turned up for older and braver participants. Last year more than 1,100 courageous souls took the Walk of Horror.
Proceeds from this event will be used for the softball team’s travel expenses on their annual spring trip. For more information, contact Miller at 507-457-6923.
By Kassondra Burtis ’12
Human rights. Women in leadership. Child welfare. Sustainability. Health, food and nutrition. Social justice. Migration and immigration. Educators from across the world converged Sept. 24-26 to discuss research in these crucial areas—and more—as part of the sixth annual International Symposium on Lasallian Research.
The symposium—held annually at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus and co-sponsored by the Christian Brothers Conference—involved about 130 professors, administrators, researchers, and students from 10 countries.
By sharing research being done through the Lasallian educational network, attendees were able to gain ideas, ask questions, and collaborate on future projects that revolve around crucial global topics.
The symposium featured three keynote presentations, the first of which was given by Carlos Costa, Ph.D, dean of the School of Engineering at De La Salle University in Bogota, Colombia. Costa spoke on the intersection of climate change, sustainable development, and how it relates to Lasallian higher education.
Costa explained how, in an effort to combat climate change, universities must research and implement the agenda set forth by the Sustainable Development Goals Fund. Climate action is one of 17 goals drawn out by the fund. Costa explain that we must both address current needs and anticipate future needs while working together in an effort to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Olaf Gruess, Ph.D, and Christine Nowakowski, Ph.D., of General Mills presented research and practices of their company in the context of external networking and creating global connections. Gruess, technology manager and global connector at General Mills, stressed the importance of embracing entrepreneurship and its growth within universities and the workplace.
“Universities are changing,” Gruess said. “It used to be subject matter education, now it is an entrepreneurial breeding ground. Our future new hires are ‘educated’ to be entrepreneurs. That entrepreneurial spirit is still there in big companies, but sometimes it’s hard to find. We partner with some startups and young entrepreneurs to bring that spirit in. We all need to adopt a more entrepreneurial mindset.”
Nowakowski is the principal scientist at General Mills and shared the company’s recent global philanthropic health and nutrition efforts. The company has utilized engineering and its external connections to support the Lasallian research agenda of food, nutrition, and health by helping to reduce food waste in Africa.
“We have to ask ourselves how we can apply our skills to make a difference,” Nowakowski said. “Small manufacturers may not have the technical depth or good knowledge of what the process is,” she said. “They can partner with an outside company who have the personnel to give them solutions immediately. It’s really important to leverage your partners. We are interconnected with other business groups and have formed a web of volunteerism.”
Tracy Adams, CEO of yourtown in Australia, was the final keynote speaker of the symposium. Adams spoke on the Lasallian mission and its dedication to serving children and the youth. Her organization attempts to break the cycle of disadvantaged in youth in Australia by providing support and resources in the form of telephone and online counseling, young parent programs, mental health services, and more.
Lasallian advocacy and research is an important part of yourtown’s growth. “If you see an issue, you need to take charge of an issue. Don’t stay silent on it,” Adams said. “That’s advocacy. It’s nothing new; De La Salle did it.”
Participants at the symposium also heard from several other researchers through smaller breakout session presentations. Saint Mary’s is part of a global network that includes 100,000 individuals engaged in the Lasallian Catholic educational mission of serving society and more than one million students throughout 80 countries. The Lasallian network is also comprised of nearly 4,000 De La Salle Christian Brothers carrying out the tradition founded by Saint John Baptist De La Salle, a priest and educational innovator of 17th century France.
To see more photos from the event, go to smumn.edu/photos. Click on “International Symposium on Lasallian Research” and then on “View album.”
WINONA, Minn. — “It’s just business.”
Saint Mary’s University thespians will be ‘closing deals in heels’ Oct. 4-8 as the Department of Theatre and Dance presents the scalding comedy Glengarry Glen Ross in the studio theatre, located in the university’s Performance Center.
Glengarry Glen Ross, written by David Mamet, focuses on a group of small-time, cutthroat real estate salesmen trying to grind out a living by pushing plots of land on reluctant buyers. As poignant today as when it premiered, this masterpiece of American drama was revived on Broadway in 2005 and 2012 and became a celebrated film starring Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, and Alan Arkin.
Under the direction of Walter Elder, the Saint Mary’s production takes on an interesting twist by featuring a nearly all-female cast. And the show was specifically chosen for this year’s performance lineup because its valuable message is in keeping with Saint Mary’s mission to prepare students for ethical lives of service and leadership.
“In a world where people take risks with other people’s money, this play is very reflective of our society and the rush to get ahead,” Elder said. “Within the setting of a shady real estate office, Mamet explores and critiques issues related to dominance and power, job-related personal identity and self-worth, and business ethics in a workplace culture of masculine aggression. Mamet intended to challenge the assumptive acceptance of these behaviors and systems by showing their effects on the characters in his play.”
By securing permission from the author to cast women in male roles, leaving the text of the play unchanged, including its gendered pronouns, male character names, and coarse language, Elder said his intent is to “create a kind of cognitive dissonance in our contemporary audience, to re-challenge our assumptions, and stay true to the original intent of the play.” Additionally, he said, as a side benefit, he is able to highlight the department’s strong female leads.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 4-7; and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7-8.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the Performance Center box office at 507-457-1715 from noon to 6 p.m. weekdays online at pagetheatre.org. Due to strong language this production is recommended for mature audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.
Glengarry Glen Ross is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.
The Saint Mary’s University Volunteer Mentors are encouraging individuals, organizations, and churches in Winona to submit requests for the annual Lasallian Day of Service event on Saturday, Oct. 21.
Lasallian Day of Service was started by Saint Mary’s University as a day for students and alumni to volunteer in their communities—in the spirit of the Lasallian mission of service to others. Volunteers will be available from 9 a.m. to noon on Oct. 21, to help with fall cleaning, raking leaves, painting, or other chores. Saint Mary’s will supply the workers, if you supply the materials needed (paint, brushes, rakes, tools, etc.).
Requests must be made by Friday, Oct. 13, to Kirsten Rotz the Office of Campus Ministry at Saint Mary’s at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-457-7329. In your email request, please include description of work, address of location, and estimated time it will take to complete with three students.
Besides Winona, Saint Mary’s alumni will also be volunteering in the Twin Cities, Chicago, and New York City as part of Lasallian Day of Service.
What do engineering, healthcare, finance, law, construction, energy, and government have in common?
They are all actively recruiting project managers and offer outstanding opportunities for professional growth and careers. As a project manager, you will lead teams that will help create solutions that are crucial for the success of enterprises, and innovations that can change the future of the world. Being a part of that innovation can be not only invigorating, but personally satisfying.
So how do you become a project manager?
There are many ways, but the one thing that they all have in common is educating yourself in project management best practices and methodology espoused by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the foremost professional association of project managers. This methodology is the core of the curriculum at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s Masters of Science in Project Management. The only program where the on ground and online versions are accredited by PMI GAC (Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Committee) in the upper Midwest. This accreditation states that the curriculum at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s Project Management Program is the best of the best as you move forward with your career in project management.
To help further explore Saint Mary’s University’s Project Management program, you are invited to a special event sponsored by Saint Mary’s and PMI-MN on October 12th at noon on the Twin Cities campus of Saint Mary’s University (2304 Park Ave, Minneapolis). The event is a lunch and learn entitled, “Building a Successful Career Using a Variety of Project Management Skills” presented by Dr. Kathy Schwalbe, PMP.
Dr. Schwalbe is the author of An Introduction to Project Management, 5th Edition the textbook that is used in Saint Mary’s Fundamental of Project Management Course. So not only will you learn about the Project Management program, PMI-MN, but also have an opportunity to meet one of the foremost experts in the field. There is a small $10 fee to cover the cost of the lunch and materials.
Below is a brief synopsis of the presentation:
In this lunch and learn, Kathy Schwalbe, Ph.D., PMP, and mother of three will share examples of how you can use a variety of project management skills throughout your life. Most people have a variety of jobs before they decide on one or more careers, and just as projects are unique, so are career paths. Kathy will share general advice and personal experiences to help you make the most of your professional life without neglecting your personal life. Topics discussed will include skills related to motivation, leadership, communications, teamwork, stakeholder engagement, technology, mentoring, empathy, delegation, and knowledge transfer.
In a letter to faculty, staff, students, and alumni, Brother William Mann—president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota—announced today (Sept. 19) that after considerable reflection, prayer, and discernment, he will conclude his service in May 2018.
Brother William took over as Saint Mary’s 13th president in 2008 and has provided 10 years of dedicated and inspirational leadership to the university.
As stated in his letter, the Saint Mary’s University Board of Trustees will begin the process of identifying his successor.
Prior to becoming Saint Mary’s president, Brother William spent almost 30 years in leadership roles with the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
A native of New York City, he joined the De La Salle Christian Brothers in 1965. He began his career as an English and religion teacher at two Christian Brother high schools in New York and Rhode Island. He then held numerous positions within the Christian Brothers, including Vicar General from 2000 to 2007—the second-highest officer of the international Catholic teaching order.
While serving on the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Board of Trustees from 1996-2001, Brother William began working to further Saint Mary’s mission. Under his leadership as president, the university is well positioned to meet the challenges of today’s higher education landscape.
His letter to the Saint Mary’s community is reprinted below:
Letter of September 19, 2017
As many of you are well aware, this is my tenth year as president of the university; and I write today to let you know that I will be concluding my service at Saint Mary’s and returning home to the East Coast in June 2018.
Since 1984, I have only lived at home in my own District of the Brothers for about five years. These wonderful ten years at Saint Mary’s in the Lasallian Midwest District of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and commitments and obligations of leadership within the worldwide Institute of the De La Salle Christian Brothers have kept me away from home for long enough.
This past weekend I turned seventy years old. While I am in good health, it seems appropriate that I prepare to change the intensity and the pace of activities and take the opportunity to spend a bit more time with my family. My religious superiors in the Lasallian District of Eastern North America and I came to this decision about two weeks ago after having spent the summer months in reflection, prayer, and discernment.
And while I may be in my final year as president, the university is still enjoying the new spring of its second century. As I shared at our recent university convocation, Strategic Plan 2017 has begun to produce extraordinarily positive and good fruit:
- Goal 4 … Science Initiative … the opening in 2017 of a 50,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility at the College in Winona … the inauguration in 2017 of a collaboration with Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences on a new and prestigious 3+2 physician assistant program … the acquisition of Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center in 2015 and the recent groundbreaking at this locus of the SGPP Rochester Initiative … in an expanded 25,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility.
- Goal 6 … Graduate On-line Initiative … a cost and revenue sharing partnership with Wiley Deltak … that has grown from 47 graduate students five years ago to over 1,200 students … with a 90% persistence rate.
- Goal 2 … Mission & Identity Initiative … First Generation (undergraduate scholars and high school Countdown-to-College components) … an internationally recognized Lasallian Research Symposium … Lasallian education & formation participation by faculty, staff, and administrators resulting in positive attention not just to the university but increasingly to professors and staff of the university publishing on the topic and being invited to present at national and international conferences and symposia.
- Goal 9 … Philanthropy Initiative … moving the needle … from on-average $4.5M raised annually … to a total of more than $55M raised in the past four years … meaning that all of the initiatives mentioned to this point have either funded themselves or been completely funded by philanthropic investment … because benefactors, trustees, alums, families, and friends believe we are serious in what we set out to do in Strategic Plan 2017.
Thank you to so many of you for your good and hard work in collaborating, “together and by association,” over these ten years. Our work together, however, is not finished. There is much yet to be done for the good of our students and the university. Know that I pledge my wholehearted commitment to work with you during the year ahead, and I ask the same of you.
At some point in the not too distant future, the leadership of the Board of Trustees will be in communication with the university community about plans for the identification of the fourteenth president of Saint Mary’s.