Saint Mary's University Campus News
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — More than 500 students will graduate from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and its Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs on Saturday, June 4 during Commencement Convocation.
Three separate ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. on the university’s Twin Cities Campus.
The ceremonies, in the Saint Mary’s University Center (2540 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis), will feature four graduates who will provide reflections. Four graduating students will also be honored with Saint Mary’s Outstanding Final Paper Awards and one student will be honored with the Outstanding Dissertation Award.
The following graduating students will provide reflections:
• Amy Whillock, Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (10 a.m. ceremony)
• David Hiza, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (12:30 p.m. ceremony)
• Catherine Ford, Doctorate of Education in Leadership (12:30 p.m. ceremony)
• Bauj Sissy Yang, Master of Arts in Health and Human Services (3 p.m. ceremony)
The following graduates will be honored with Outstanding Final Paper Awards:
• Heather McGannon, Master of Arts in Management (10 a.m. ceremony)
• Cindy Lehnertz, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (12:30 p.m. ceremony)
• Laura Hagen, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (3 p.m. ceremony)
• Kue Yang Thao, Master of Arts in Health and Human Services (3 p.m. ceremony)
Joshua Loren Swanson, Ed.D., will receive the Outstanding Dissertation Award (12:30 p.m. ceremony).
WINONA, Minn. — Local artist Barb Halvorson’s wildlife, floral, and landscape paintings will be on display June 1-30 at Galleria Valéncia.
The public is invited to view the exhibit and see the artist in action on Wednesday, June 1, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Valéncia Arts Center. The galleria will also be open during regular office hours: Mondays, and Wednesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.—as well as while evening and Saturday classes are in session.
About the artist
In 1982, Barb Halvorson walked into a local hobby shop and painted her first picture as a special gift for a special friend. That friend was a mental health counselor who was treating Halvorson for major depressive disorder at the time. She never publicly shared this part of her life, but recently she turned 60 and hopes by sharing her story, she can help others battling depression.
Although Halvorson never felt naturally talented, she took every class available and was always the last one to finish and the last one to go home. Never could she have imagined that one painting would lead to a full-time career. She believes that if you can hold a paintbrush in your hand, foot, or mouth and have a desire to learn, you can paint. She has seen many cloudy days turn blue just by picking up a brush.
Halvorson has traveled extensively for 30 years and literally taught thousands of people to paint at major art conventions throughout the United States. She has authored five how-to- paint books in a series titled Sharing Gifts of Nature. She is known for painting wildlife, landscapes, and florals and for painting on leaves. For more information about her art or classes, call 507-454-7617, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University, a nonprofit organization, offers programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for youth ages 18 months and older through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at the corner of 10th and Vila streets. For more information, go to www.mnconservatoryforthearts.org, email email@example.com, or call 507-453-5500.
WINONA, Minn. — The Performance Center at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will offer several opportunities this summer for area dancers to work with 2016-2017 Page Series artists Shapiro & Smith Dance. The Minneapolis-based modern dance company will be in Winona June 24-25 for the first in a series of master classes for dancers ages 9 and older. The company will return Sept. 2 for further classes. In addition, several dancers will have the opportunity to participate in the company’s Sept. 10 performance at the Page Theatre.
Shapiro & Smith Dance has a reputation for performing tales of beauty and biting wit that run the gamut from searingly provocative to absurdly hilarious. Dancing with breathtaking physicality and emotional depth, they have earned an international reputation for virtuosity, substance, craft, and pure abandonment. The company was founded in 1985 as a collaboration between Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith. After meeting in the companies of Murray Louis and Alwin Nikolais, they went on to create their first choreography during a Fulbright Lectureship in Helsinki, Finland. Since then Shapiro & Smith’s blend of contemporary dance and dramatic theater has elicited enthusiastic receptions across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Canada. Shapiro passed away in 2006, and Smith continues as the company’s artistic director.
The Performance Center has partnered with Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, which will host classes and rehearsals at the Valéncia Arts Center (1164 W. Howard St.). Participation is free, but registration is required as space is limited. For more information and to register, visit pagetheatre.org.
Photo credit: V. Paul Virtuccio
Education Leader, Teacher, Advocate for Integration and Equality in Education
Hometown: Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Major: Secondary Social Studies, M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning
Scott Thomas currently serves as the principal of Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts and Science and was also the executive director of the Magnet Schools of America in Washington, D.C. He began his career in education in 1999 as a middle and high school social studies teacher, and served for seven years as the educational equity coordinator for one of Minnesota’s largest school districts. Thomas was appointed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to serve on the state’s Integration Revenue Task Force and has served on numerous boards including Magnet Schools of Minnesota, where he served as its first president and co-founded the Minnesota Integration Council. Thomas also consults in magnet school development, school diversity/integration, and educational equity.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has been granted accreditation for its Psychology Doctorate (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology program from the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association. The effective accreditation date is Nov. 6, 2015 and extends for an initial period of five years.
“APA accreditation is the premier distinction in the field of psychology and an additional mark of excellence for our already outstanding psychology doctoral program,” said Brother William Mann, FSC, president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. “Through this program, students not only have a transformational experience, but they leave Saint Mary’s as alumni prepared to transform other people’s lives and serve society as ethical leaders in the field of counseling psychology.”
“All of our Psy.D. graduates will now have the added distinction of having completed an APA accredited program,” said Brother Robert Smith, FSC, chief academic officer for the university and vice president for Saint Mary’s Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs. “We are very proud of this accomplishment for our doctoral training program in professional psychology.”
The 85-credit program prepares students for careers as licensed professional psychologists. Designed to be completed in five years, the Saint Mary’s program includes four years of course work, a research-based doctoral dissertation, a practicum, and a year of full-time pre-doctoral internship.
The Psy.D. program in Counseling Psychology at Saint Mary’s is student centered and attentive to the needs of adult learners. Once foundational courses are completed, the curriculum allows students to focus on areas of counseling psychology consistent with their interests and professional goals. The program emphasizes and integrates ethical preparation, service to diverse and under-served communities, and evidence-based practices. There is a strong emphasis on individualized mentoring throughout the program.
In awarding accreditation, the APA lauded the Saint Mary’s programs for the following:
- Being clearly anchored in the institutional mission, most notably through emphasis on rigorous adult education and focus on critical examination of social needs and opportunities for serving the larger community;
- Having established a solid curriculum; and
- Having an individualized mentorship experience.
Based on Saint Mary’s Twin Cities Campus at 2500 Park Avenue in Minneapolis, the program is currently home to 70 students in various stages of completion and four recent graduates who are eligible to become licensed professional psychologists. A new cohort begins each Fall Semester.
In keeping with Saint Mary’s heritage as a Lasallian Catholic university, the program is not only personalized and convenient, but also affordable. For more information, about the APA accredited Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology at Saint Mary’s, visit www.smumn.edu/psyd, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 612-728-5100.
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 smumn.edu.
Self-Care and Self-Compassion for Real (Busy) People
by Samantha Zaid
“How do you do it all?” This is a question that graduate students often hear from friends and family. As a busy professional, my answer used to be an awkward, “Um… time management?” Eventually I added a little humor to my response, “Color coding. My calendar is color-coded. Has no one told you about color-coding?!” Now I quote David Allen: “I can do anything, but not everything.”
Students at Saint Mary’s University are passionate. Showing up to class after a full day at work? That’s passion. Putting the kids to bed, then pulling out the textbooks? That’s passion. Choosing to return to school? That takes tremendous passion!
The cost of that passion for students (and for ANY of us) can be depletion. Passion is a fire that takes fuel! Helping roles are never ending; there are no clear finished products when we work with human beings. Technology can yank us back into work-mode with the ping of a message notification. We can lose sight of what originally sparked our dedication to our work. Thus we use the term “burn out” when we can no longer meet our responsibilities with the same energy and commitment. The flame can become extinguished without proper care.
How do we fuel ourselves when we are full time caregivers, employees, and family members? The strategies are unique to everyone. You don’t need to join a yoga studio, shop for organic kale, and start biking to work. Though, to be fair, those are all great ideas.
Instead of choosing an arbitrary list of self-care strategies that you might end up feeling guilty about not following through on, be compassionate and curious with yourself. Here are some questions I have found useful for many professionals:
~ How am I already taking care of myself?
~ What do I need?
Eat a meal at a table (not at a desk or steering wheel). Say “no” or “not yet” to a new obligation. Put things on your to-do-list that you’ve ALREADY COMPLETED just to cross them off!
~ What areas of my life would benefit from more attention?
Perhaps you already play outside with your dog, but you could benefit from speaking with a financial planner.
~ Who will support me?
Do you like to knit/hike/bake? Do you have friends who knit/hike/bake? A community creates accountability and a sense of belonging.
~ What fuels the fire for my work?
You want to make a difference or be part of something bigger than yourself. Find ways to tap into that sense of fulfillment regularly. To start, just NOTICE when you feel appreciated or useful. No changes required; just catch yourself feeling good!
If you believe that your passion can make a difference, I encourage you to attend to it. Commit to caring for yourself. Build on your strengths. Take inventory of your needs. Start today. Start small. You can do anything, but you don’t need to do everything.
Samantha J. Zaid, Ph.D. Rev. LMFT directs the M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in the School of Science and Health Professions. She maintains a private therapy and consultation practice in Blaine, Minnesota. As an academic and clinical specialty, Dr. Zaid focuses her mentorship around issues of self (including self-compassion, self-care, and holistic wellness). Sam is also an associate professor, author, mother, wife, and enthusiastic friend of all four-legged creatures, particularly llamas (they’re pretty great).
Business Leader, Global Entrepreneur
Major: M.A. in Human Development
Pablo Gaito is vice president for global talent management and organization effectiveness at Gap Inc. in the San Francisco Bay area. His goal is to accelerate the development of talent and the evolution of the business operating model and culture to be the world’s favorite retailer in American-style apparel through its global brands: Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Intermix. He is responsible for talent management, succession planning, executive and leadership development, assessment, coaching, learning and development, diversity and inclusion, innovation, and organization effectiveness. Gaito has also served as vice president of human resources for Cargill, where he also held a variety of roles ranging from strategy to general management. A native of Argentina, Gaito worked on the business side for 15 years before pursuing the Master of Arts in Human Development at Saint Mary’s, which helped him to bridge from general management to human resources. Gaito is also an artist and he hopes to inspire others to integrate the things they love into their lives. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife and five children.
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University recognized outstanding senior students Friday, April 22, at the annual Honors Convocation. Highlights of the evening included the announcement of graduate and professional school acceptances, grants and fellowships, and the awarding of the following special honors:
Lasallian Honors Program Outstanding Senior Awards — Rachel Waletzko, daughter of David and Patricia Waletzko of Albany, Minn.
Creative Spark Award (art and design award) — Amanda McCormick, daughter of William McCormick and Jamie Becker of St. Charles, Minn.
Biology Academic Achievement Award — Jessica Buckbee, daughter of Steven and Joyce Buckbee of Lewiston, Minn.; Philip Emmerich, son of William and Debra Van Den Heuval of Mondovi, Wis.; Crystal Gehring, daughter of Scott and Carleen Gehring of Waseca, Minn.; and Alexandra Thiel, daughter of Michael and Rita Thiel of Burr Ridge, Ill.
Kevin Martineau Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Outstanding International Business Major (business award) — Kimberly Ammerman, daughter of Steven and Ute Ammerman of Meppen, Germany.
Outstanding Accounting Major (business award) — Alex Hefel, son of Jeffrey and Angela Hefel of Winona, Minn.
Outstanding Business Intelligence and Analytics Major (business award) — Brendan Garvey, son of Ted and Kelley Garvey of Pewaukee, Wis.
Outstanding Entrepreneurship Major (business award) — Carrie Gabrielson, daughter of Nels and Mary Gabrielson of Orr, Minn.
Outstanding Finance Major (business award) — Jordan Lehr, son of Kevin and Nancy Lehr of Sioux Falls, S.D.
Outstanding Management Major (business award) — Michael Tabar, son of Emilia Tabar of Elgin, Ill.
Outstanding Marketing Major (business award) — Elizabeth Schmidt, daughter of Jerome and Kathy Schmidt of Plainview, Minn.
Outstanding Sport Management Major (business award) — Andrew Jaworski, son of Michael and Kelly Jaworski of Racine, Wis.
American Institute of Chemists Award (chemistry award) — Quinlyn Waulters, daughter of Jody Etzler of Minneapolis, Minn.; and Erik Ness, son of Keith and Marge Ness of Winona, Minn.
American Chemical Society Award (chemistry award) — Philip Emmerich, son of William and Debra Van Den Heuval of Mondovi, Wis.
Outstanding Senior Award (communications award) — Caroline Blackwood, daughter of Eric and Ann Blackwood of Norwalk, Ohio.
De La Salle Outstanding Pre-service Teaching Awards (education award) — Megan Collins, daughter of Michael and Annette Collins of Cottage Grove, Minn.; Kiya Virgin, daughter of Thomas and Kristina Virgin of Rochester, Minn.; and Abigail Zuzek, daughter of Mark and Janet Zuzek of Hastings, Minn.
Outstanding English Paper Award — Emily Loof, daughter of Ronald and Lisa Loof of Colorado Springs, Colo.
History Department Distinction Award and Brother J. Robert Lane Historical Essay Award (history awards) — Leanne Cleveland, daughter of Greg and Kay Cleveland of La Crosse, Wis.
Brother Leo Northam Award (math award) — Kiya Virgin, daughter of Thomas and Kristina Virgin of Rochester, Minn.
Brother Laurence Walther Founder’s Award (music award) — Sydney Larson, daughter of Michael and Anne Larson of Winona, Minn.
Performance Award (music award) — Eric Doyle, son of Tom and Cindi Doyle of Hudson, Wis.
Saint Thomas Aquinas Award for Excellence and Father Andrew Fabian Scholarship (philosophy awards) — Thao Minh Anh Nguyen of Da Nang, Vietnam.
Psychology Department Distinction Awards — Kory McDonald, son of Brian and Vicki McDonald of Minnesota City, Minn.; Emily Norton, daughter of David Norton of Kellogg, Minn. and Sandi Burdick of Plainview, Minn.; and Kelsi Watters, daughter of Casey Watters of Chetek, Wis.
Marilyn Frost Award (psychology award) — Chazz Robinson, son of Leesa Robinson of Milwaukee, Wis.
Millie Harrison Spirit Award (theatre award) — Gabriel Verges, son of Constantine and Nancy Verges of Littleton, Colo.
The Michael G. Flanagan Ghost Light Award (theatre award) — Nicole Christensen, daughter of Craig Christensen and Nicole Malone of Hopkins, Minn.
Gerald Sullivan Outstanding Theatre Major Award (theatre award) — Anne Colling, daughter of Thomas and Suzanne Colling of Jordan, Minn.
To see more photos from the ceremony, go to smumn.edu/photos.
Photo caption: Business award winners, pictured with Business Department faculty.
Priscilla Nava and Sarah Witt fervently cheered for each other as they crossed the Saint Mary’s University commencement stage Saturday—one obtaining her bachelor’s degree and the other earning her master’s degree.
Witt, formerly Nava’s teacher at San Miguel Middle School in Chicago, once counseled Nava and her other students about the importance of going to college. And, Nava says, it was Witt who inspired her to love learning.
“She was amazing,” Nava said. “She was always helpful and willing to help us with anything. She was my literature and my math teacher, and I just loved my literature class. She encouraged us to discuss and care about the subject. I also know she valued me a person, not just as a student.”
When Nava chose to attend Saint Mary’s, Witt’s alma mater, they found another shared bond.
Witt had earned her elementary education degree from the university in 2003.
Fulfilling her lifelong dream to teach, she began working at San Miguel through the Lasallian Volunteers program, and then continued as a salaried teacher.
The five years she spent at San Miguel in Chicago were “eye opening” for a young teacher from the quiet middle-class city of Northfield, Minn. Suddenly it wasn’t “just” about helping her students with their academics, it also included counseling them about life outside the walls of school—a neighborhood that included gangs, drugs, and violence.
Students needed to know, she said, that they could depend on her. “It was an amazing experience and I loved every minute of it,” she said. “I keep in touch with quite a few of my students. It touched my life and changed me as much as it changed them.”
Nava is one of the students with whom she has stayed connected. Visiting Nava meant coming home to Saint Mary’s. And for Nava, a visit from Witt was a reminder of home.
“Throughout my four years, she took the time out of her schedule to come and visit me at least once every year,” Nava said. “It was something I would look forward to. Being away from Chicago and home, I was homesick, but she reminded me of back home.”
Witt, now a teacher at Dodge Middle School in Farmington, said she had always planned to return to Saint Mary’s to obtain her Master of Education degree, and she hasn’t regretted her decision.
“I loved it,” she said. “I really liked the whole program. I didn’t know how much I was going to grow as a teacher and how it would all circle back to the things I learned in the undergraduate program and through the Lasallian Volunteers program—how all those virtues are present in teaching even if you’re not teaching in a Catholic setting.
“I look back at how much I had already grown and then how much more I learned about myself as a teacher and as a person. I like that the program was focused on me as a whole person.”
Witt will take these skills back with her to the classroom, where she works with math intervention students in grades seven and eight. She assists students whose math scores are 40 percent or lower.
“Teaching is rewarding in itself,” she said. “But working with kids who struggle, you have to come up with so many more activities or ways to approach the lessons. You have to think about what is going to help them succeed. It is extremely challenging, and there are days I am wiped out. But to hear a student say, ‘I got it’ or when I watch one of my students explain it to someone else who is struggling … when they can help each other, that means I have done my job. That is so rewarding.
“At the end of the day I feel like I’m making a difference, which is why I wanted to get into teaching in the first place. And the master’s was a big goal of mine, so I can check that off.”
On Saturday she and Nava shared many of the same feelings of accomplishment.
Nava, a First Generation Scholar, majored in Spanish and minored in biology. With a strong desire to help others, she plans to get a master’s degree and eventually become an ER nurse.
“I am so excited to share this milestone with (Nava) because I know how hard she has worked in high school and at Saint Mary’s,” Witt said. “It’s such a rewarding experience to be here for that, to see her family and her older sister (Cindy Nava ’13, also a former student of Witt’s). It all comes full circle. You always hope they go to college and get degrees, but life gets in the way for so many of those kids. Saint Mary’s Countdown to College and First Generation Initiative programs really help get those students in college and helps support them the whole time they’re there.”
In addition to Nava and Witt, 275 graduate students and 244 undergraduate were eligible to commence Saturday. Go to smumn.edu/photos for more photos from the day, and check out the video highlight below.
Scientist, Educator, Leader
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
James M. Gentile, Ph.D., is dean for the Natural & Applied Sciences at Hope College in Holland, Mich., and the past president of Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), a Tucson, Ariz.-based foundation dedicated to science since 1912. A geneticist by training, Dr. Gentile previously served as dean for the Natural Sciences at Hope College (the position to which he has now returned) where he also held an endowed professorship. He has conducted extensive research on the role of metabolism in the conversion of natural and xenobiotic agents into mutagens and carcinogens, with funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the World Health Organization, among many other public and private foundations. He received his Ph.D. from Illinois State University and undertook postdoctoral studies in the Department of Human Genetics at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is the author of more than 150 research articles, book chapters, book reviews, and special reports, and he is a frequent speaker on issues involving the integration of scientific research and higher education. He assisted Saint Mary’s Science Task Force in 2013. He is the former editor-in-chief of the international journal Mutation Research and past president of the U.S. Environmental Mutagen Society and the International Association of Environmental Mutagen Societies. Dr. Gentile also currently serves on many national boards, including the Science Friday Foundation Board (N.Y.), the Cures Now Board (Calif.), and the Biosphere2 Board.
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota imagines a world where every student is given the opportunity to reach their full potential, a world where every student with a desire to attend college has the opportunity to do so.
Saint Mary’s wants scholars to be able to SOAR.
Attendees of the annual Saint Mary’s S.O.A.R. (Support, Opportunity, Accountability, and Responsibility) Breakfast Wednesday, May 11, will hear examples of success stories from the university’s First Generation Initiative (FGI).
Jessican Salas Rivera (a current first-year student and Cristo Rey, Minneapolis, alumna) and Daniela Martinez (a 2014 FGI graduate) will speak about what the scholarship and support has meant to them.
Saint Mary’s First Generation Initiative is making the dream of a college education possible to high-potential students from urban, under-resourced communities. The initiative was created to break down barriers to higher education by providing not only financial support, but also academic support. Saint Mary’s knows that it isn’t just about getting these students into school. It’s about helping them succeed.
That’s why the FGI program provides enhanced student services (tutoring, literacy classes, advising, evening study hours, mentoring, and cultural and social activities) and faculty collaboration.
Many of these students, after graduation, want to return to their hometowns to work and give back, helping to strengthen their communities.
Guests are welcome to attend the event, to be held from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. (with a 7 a.m. registration) at Saint Mary’s University Center, 2540 Park Ave., Minneapolis. Register online here by May 4.
For more information about this event or how to support this initiative, please contact Joe Kolar, development director, at 612-728-5192 or email@example.com.
The four Saint Mary’s University student presenters admit it was a bit of a role reversal—the students became the teachers … to teachers.
Graduating elementary education majors Emily Blaser, Katie LeTourneau, Jessica Bjick, and Ally Warmka hadn’t yet gathered classroom experience, outside of student teaching, and they couldn’t imagine inspiring their audience at the ASCD annual conference in Atlanta, Ga.—comprised of experienced educational practitioners.
“We were rookies,” LeTournaeau said. “How could we be presenting? Shouldn’t we be listening and learning?”
But, following their presentation titled, “Are You the Teacher You Intended to Be?” one of those 30-year seasoned professionals in the audience told them she was moved. Their universal message—about the need for teachers to continually reflect on their experiences in order to become more effective educators—gave her hope for the future of the profession.
It all began, the foursome (all ASCD student chapter leaders) explained, when they listened to a presentation by 2014 Minnesota Teacher of the Year Tom Rademacher. He challenged the future educators to “be the teachers they intended to be when they first chose to become teachers.” These words resonated with them, and inspired their presentation proposal, accepted in August 2015 (as possibly the only student presenters at the national conference of 8,000 to 10,000 attendees).
While student teaching this past fall, the team spent 14 weeks extensively journaling as a way to reflect on their personal identities and contemplate their commitment to student learning. They determined the process of becoming lifelong learners was core to their identity development.
“We journaled after each day, reflecting on what went well and what didn’t go so well,” Blaser said.
At the end, they read each other’s journals, picked four representative journals, and highlighted entries, eventually categorizing them into four pillars.
- Teacher effectiveness
- Thoughts about the future
For “effectiveness,” LeTourneau said there were good days, when they were engaged, and their students were engaged. They learned to get to know their students and acknowledged that reflection was the key to making them better teachers.
For “attitude,” Bjick said, they examined what situations made them react positively or negatively depending on the day (or sometimes even hour). “No matter what, we discovered that how we felt about our students was always positive,” she said. “But how we felt about things that were out of our control—like the pressures of standardized testing and the limitations of being a guest in a classroom—affected our attitudes, and in turn affected our days and our students’ days.”
For “failure,” Warmka said they examined common themes centered around times they thought they had failed, when lessons hadn’t gone well, and when things were out of their control. Time constraints was a big theme. “We learned not to dwell on the failures,” she said. “Instead we reflected to see where we could grow and learn.”
When examining the “future,” Blaser said they asked themselves, “Are we able to be the change the educational world needs right now?”
“We realized that there is always growth to be made,” she said. “We always need to reflect and think about what we can do better the next day.”
As far as their futures, Bjick, LeTourneau, and Blaser all hope to begin teaching at the elementary level in the Twin Cities area. Warmka realized through this experience that although she loves teaching, classroom teaching isn’t her true calling. Following some time with AmeriCorps, she hopes to pursue a career working with youth with mental health issues.
The foursome hopes that their message did help to inspire educators who need to go back to their roots, and ask themselves if they are the teachers they intended to be.
“So many teachers get wrapped up in the pressures and don’t have time to reflect,” Blaser said. “It becomes too routine. Students aren’t going to stay the same. We have to think about how to improve for our students. We didn’t decide to become teachers because of the pay. We wanted to make a difference in children’s lives.”
WINONA, Minn. — “Incline Our Hearts,” a new composition by Faith Partners composer-in-residence A. Eric Heukeshoven will be premiered as part of English Lutheran Church’s Cantaté Sunday at both services on Sunday, May 8. The music is Heukeshoven’s second composition for the La Crosse, Wis., church.
“Incline Our Hearts” draws its text from a poem based on Proverbs 2. The poem was written by English Lutheran’s Director of Worship Paul Sannerud. Bringing the music to life will be the Senior Choir under the direction of Amy Hanson with Director of Music Luke Thering leading a jazz trio. Vocalist Cori Vought will also be featured.
More information can be found on the church website: www.englishlutheran.org
“Incline Our Hearts” was composed by Heukeshoven as part of the American Composers Forum’s Faith Partners Residency Program. This ecumenical program, designed by the American Composers Forum (ACF) and funded by The Otto Bremer Foundation, enables religious institutions to select a composer to create original musical works appropriate for use in the worship services of participating congregations.
Consortium members are from English Lutheran Church and First Congregational United Church of Christ, in La Crosse, Wis. “Incline Our Hearts” was composed in collaboration with English Lutheran Church, Hanson and Thering. Heukeshoven is a faculty member in the Music Department of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
To celebrate all the things that make Saint Mary’s special, we are having a Saint Mary’s Giving Day Tuesday, May 3.
To make the day even more special, a generous Saint Mary’s graduate has offered a $25,000 match.
The giving opportunities available on May 3 include:
– A dollar for dollar match for all renewing donors. (For example: Give $100, get $100!)
– All NEW donors will have their gift matched 2:1. (For example: Give $100, get $200!)
It’s fitting this day falls on “Thank a Teacher Day,” as our faculty and staff at Saint Mary’s are an important part of what makes us special.
Take the time to honor someone who made a difference to you at Saint Mary’s. Whether that person was a professor, a mentor, or a coach, you can make a gift and say “Thanks!”
Give online at www.smumn.edu/giving.
By Susan Jarosak
Already a seasoned professional and licensed nursing home administrator at Augustana Care in Minneapolis, Jean Cole graduated from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2013 with a Master’s degree in Health & Human Services Administration and cites the faculty as the highlight of the program: “Their ability to share first-hand professional experiences, as they related to the practical application of concepts taught in the classroom, made the program content both relevant and current – real-time healthcare issues.”
A year after graduating from the program, Cole returned to Saint Mary’s to collaborate with faculty and students on one of those real-time healthcare issues: seeking insight on how to better serve immigrant populations in long term care facilities. The East African Transitional Care Unit community partnership project explored the feasibility of opening a culturally-specific transitional care unit. Nine Saint Mary’s students were matched with Augustana staff members to identify the needs, opportunities, and barriers for serving this growing population.
Peter Momanyi, originally from Kenya, was one of the students involved in the research project. Momanyi is pursuing the Health and Human Services Administration master’s degree because he feels a calling to help the aging population and to positively affect change by working in an administrative role. As students in the program can pursue licensure as long-term care administrators by completing specific coursework and a 400 hour in the field, practical experience (i.e., practicum), Momanyi is currently completing his practicum at Marantha Presbyterian Homes, Brooklyn Center.
All the students involved in the research project gained first hand experience working with interprofessional teams and in identifying cultural and communication needs. The project illuminated the need to wholly understand those in their care. As Momanyi stated, “Because people are living longer and often have no living relatives, how do [we] make this person feel part of the community and feel happier during their last times on earth? We don’t do much in understanding the backgrounds of our patients besides what is written on their charts.”
Cole emphasized the value of the research findings to her organization. “The knowledge and information gained truly helped us to better understand and serve our East African patient population.” Healthcare administration is becoming more culturally responsive and needs administrators who represent and appreciate diversity. Saint Mary’s University collaborates with the community to meet these needs.
Catholic School Educator, Administrator, Saint Mary’s President
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wis.
Brother I. Basil Rothweiler entered the De La Salle Christian Brothers Novitiate in 1934 and celebrated his 80th jubilee in 2014. In addition to his religious leadership, Brother Basil made outstanding contributions to the development and education of youth as a teacher and administrator at De La Salle Christian Brothers high schools and colleges. From 1956 to 1963, he served as president of Saint Mary’s College, and he served as first provincial of the Winona Province from 1963 to 1969. In 1985, he was named director of novices for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Province. While president at Saint Mary’s, a significant physical growth took place, including new dorms, a chapel, library, the Brothers’ residence, the novitiate, and a minor seminary. He previously served as dean of students from 1943 to 1946. The Brother I. Basil Rothweiler ’38 Endowed Scholarship honors the seventh president of Saint Mary’s and his lifelong commitment to the Lasallian charism as an advocate for the work of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. This scholarship gives preference to young men aspiring to become teachers through involvement in the Lasallian Teacher Immersion Program.