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Students jump right in to community service

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 9:47am
You never know what you’ll find when you help tidy up a park.

More than 80 Saint Mary’s students (mostly freshmen doing their first community service in Winona) donated an afternoon to clean up scenic Lake Park, playgrounds, bike path, and sand volleyball courts. Students also helped at the Winona Visitor Center. The annual event is sponsored by Campus Ministry was made possible by a generous grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation.


Alumni in Action: Emil “Bud” Paape ’62

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 3:00am

Emil “Bud” Paape ’62

High school teacher, Peace Corps volunteer, university instructor
Hometown: Winona, Minn.
Major: History

From 1962 to 1965, Bud Paape taught history, mathematics and English at Hill High School, a Lasallian (Christian Brother-affiliated school) in Maplewood, Minn. However, a few years earlier he was inspired by John F. Kennedy’s challenge to university students to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. Therefore, from 1965 to 1967, Paape left Minnesota and served in Nigeria as a member of the United States Peace Corps where he taught mathematics and African history.

After returning to the United States, he attended the University of Minnesota and earned an M.A. in journalism/mass communication. From 1968 to 1987, and again from 1989 until 1999, he taught at Grace High School (now Totino-Grace High School) in Fridley, Minn., where he became one of the most respected teachers in the school’s history. He was granted a two-year leave of absence in 1987 in order to do another term in the Peace Corps – this time at the Universite Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco. In 1996, he received the Teacher of the Year Award from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. In 1999, after a year working at the American Refugee Committee in Minneapolis, Bud began another career at Saint Mary’s of Minnesota in Minneapolis where he serves as the administrative assistant for the M.A. in Education Wisconsin program.

“Saint Mary’s showed me a path from Winona to a most interesting world,” he said. “The universality of Lasallian educational philosophy served me well in suburban St. Paul, in the bush of Nigeria, at the university in Morocco … and beyond.”

Read more Alumni in Action stories.

Blackhawks President, CEO John McDonough returning to Saint Mary’s University Sept. 10

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:07am

Visit to include Stanley Cup viewing and student leadership session

WINONA, Minn. — On Thursday, Sept. 10, John McDonough, President and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks, will return to his alma mater, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, for a leadership session with students on the Winona Campus. He’s also bringing with him the Stanley Cup, which will be available for public viewing.

Thanks to a 2-0 Game 6, Cup-clinching victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on June 15, the Blackhawks became the sixth franchise in National Hockey League history to win three Stanley Cups in a six-year span. McDonough, a 1975 alumnus and a successful and well-respected leader in the sports world, will share his story—and the Cup—with the Saint Mary’s and Winona communities.

“When John McDonough chose to share the Stanley Cup with the Saint Mary’s community and the public in Winona in 2013, we were grateful and honored,” said Brother William Mann, President of Saint Mary’s. “We are even more excited to welcome him back for a second opportunity to celebrate his achievements. John has demonstrated leadership characteristics we hope to instill in our students. We’re thankful he’s not only bringing the Cup, but also sharing an important message about how to inspire others to greatness.”

McDonough has called his time at Saint Mary’s “comfortable, but challenging; competitive, yet inspiring. The faculty and staff provide you with everything to put yourself in position to succeed,” he said. “It was the perfect environment in which to learn, and I was able to carry those skills into my professional life.”

The public is invited to view the Cup between 2:15-3:45 p.m. Due to time constraints, a limited number of public attendees will have an opportunity to have their photos taken with the Stanley Cup. Only those with wristbands will have the opportunity for an up-close photo. Wristbands will be given out beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the Hall of Fame Room in Gostomski Fieldhouse. The public is invited to begin lining up at 1 p.m. All will be allowed into the facility to view and take photos of the Cup from a reasonable distance. For security reasons, large bags and purses will not be permitted into the facility, and smaller bags or purses will be subject to search. Saint Mary’s staff and volunteers will direct attendees on where to park and line up. Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances, the schedule may be subject to change.

Saint Mary’s at the State Fair

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 8:00am

While you’re at the Minnesota State Fair, visit our Saint Mary’s University booth and connect with us — we’d love to get to know you better.

From Aug. 27 through Sept. 7, we’ll be at the “Great Minnesota Get-Together” in the Education building on the Fair’s east side. Visitors look forward to stopping by the Saint Mary’s booth annually, and this year is no different; from 9 a.m.–9 p.m. each day we’ll be sharing information about our empowering education and handing out giveaways.

We will be happy to answer any questions you might have about any of our undergraduate or graduate programs. From Winona to Minneapolis, and elsewhere, we have something that will fit your needs and lifestyle, helping you move forward. When you stop by our booth, we will have knowledgeable and friendly staff members along with iPad stations set up for you to browse our website and learn more.

Ready for a transformational experience? Come and say hi whether you’re in high school or whether you’re an adult looking to take the next step with your education. Make sure to grab a Saint Mary’s ink pen. If you’re a past graduate, an alumni window cling that will be perfect for your vehicle and if you are wearing Saint Mary’s apparel, you will also receive a tablet stand.

For more information about the university, contact our admission office based in Winona (undergraduate) or Minneapolis (bachelor completion and graduate).

Students welcomed at Winona campus Move-In Weekend

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 12:21pm

The men’s hockey team — along with other sports teams, faculty, staff, and alumni — all pitched in over the weekend to welcome new students and help them move into their residence halls. Classes began Monday, while Welcome Week activities continue to help students settle in, meet each other, engage them in the community, and get a running start on their college careers.

Check out more photos on our Facebook photo album.

MCA to host open house and ‘Second Chance Dance’ Sale

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 5:19pm

WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will hold its annual Fall Open House from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, just prior to fall classes starting on Sept. 8.

The open house is an excellent opportunity for parents and students to meet instructors and administrators, ask questions about classes or attire, tour the facility, enjoy treats, and register for classes. In addition to the usual events, a Second Chance Dance Sale is planned. All funds raised will be used to support the MCA scholarship and program funds. Community members with dance attire no longer being used can donate it to the MCA; MCA families are invited to request a table at no expense to sell or swap items as well.

Younger attendees won’t want to miss the opportunity to test out MCA’s 8-foot floor piano.

For more information about the Open House or the Second Chance Dance Sale, visit, e-mail, “like” them on Facebook, or call 507- 453-5500.

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

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


Alumni in Action: Benjamin Murray ’96

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 3:00am

Benjamin Murray ’96

Certified Public Accountant, co-founder & president of San Miguel Middle School of Minneapolis, volunteer ESL instructor, vice president for financial affairs for Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Hometown: Austin, Minn.
Major: Accounting

While a student at Saint Mary’s, Ben Murray was in the Lasallian Honors Program, led S.O.U.L. Mission Trips and Buddies (a Campus Ministry organization that works with developmentally delayed adults), was voted Outstanding Senior Male in 1996, and played an influential role representing the student body when Saint Mary’s transitioned from a college to a university. Throughout college, he also worked a minimum of 20 hours a week as part of the work-study program.

Upon graduation, Murray became a licensed CPA and worked as an auditor for Virchow Krause (now Baker Tilly). After four years he left to lay the groundwork in founding San Miguel School of Minneapolis (an urban Lasallian middle school), eventually becoming its president. In 2011 he earned a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

He currently serves as chair for both the Saint Mary’s Press Board of Directors and the Holy Rosary Catholic Church Finance Committee.

“Saint Mary’s University has helped me to weave knowledge, ethics and spirituality into the fabric of my life, connecting my values with my vocation. The Lasallian charism draws me into a deeper understanding of community and the importance of engaging others to work for the common good,” he said.

Read more Alumni in Action stories.

Alumni in Action: Roger Lucas, Ph.D. ’65

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 3:00am

Roger Lucas, Ph.D. ’65

2012 Distinguished Alumnus, chair of the board of Envoy Medical, co-founder & vice chair of the board of TECHNE Corp., board member of ChemoChentryx, Inc. & Discovery Genomics, Inc.
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
Major: Biology

Dr. Roger Lucas has enjoyed a successful career in scientific research and development. Dr. Lucas received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Institute of Technology, and was the recipient of National Institutes of Health pre- and post-doctoral fellowships. He is one of the founding shareholders of Envoy Medical Corporation, the first company to design, manufacture and bring to market a fully implantable hearing restoration device that doesn’t use a microphone or speaker. He co-founded TECHNE Corporation in 1985 and it has grown into one of the world’s largest suppliers of biotechnology products. As a way to give back to his alma mater, Dr. Lucas funds summer internship collaborations between R&D Systems (a subsidiary of TECHNE Corporation) and Saint Mary’s so that current students can gain the same exceptional practical experience he had as a student.

Read more Alumni in Action stories!

Saint Mary’s sponsors ‘because I said I would’ founder Alex Sheen Aug. 27

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 2:29pm

WINONA, Minn. — Too often we say things like “I’ll get to it” and “tomorrow.” One day there is no tomorrow. The promises we make and keep and those we choose to dishonor define us and this world.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will sponsor a Winona visit by nationally acclaimed speaker Alex Sheen, creator and founder of the “because I said I would” social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. Sheen’s day in Winona Thursday, Aug. 27, will include a 2:20 p.m. presentation to the Cotter High School community and a 7 p.m. presentation to the Saint Mary’s University community in Page Theatre.

Sparked by the loss of his father, Sheen and his organization send “promise cards” to anyone anywhere in the world at no cost. Sheen is someone who truly honors commitment. He once walked over 240 miles across the entire state of Ohio in 10 days to fulfill a promise. In just two years, “because I said I would” has sent more than 2.4 million promise cards to over 152 different countries. The promises written on these cards have made headlines around the world. His charitable projects and awareness campaigns have been featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, CNN, The Today Show, NPR, the Los Angeles Times and many other programs.

Sheen is a nationally known philanthropist who has given TEDTalks and speaks motivationally across the country. He sends promise cards all over the world, encouraging people to change their lives and keep their promises. His speeches focus on character and leadership development by telling emotional speeches that motivate and inspire audiences to honor commitments that make a positive impact and moving promise stories from his life and the lives of supporters. For more information, go to

Sheen’s message closely resonates with Saint Mary’s mission and with its goal to promote leadership development. “Alex Sheen’s message is a powerful one that is especially important in today’s society,” said Chris Kendall, vice president for Student Life. “Sheen’s message speaks to the importance of honoring the commitments and goals we set as individuals and professionals, and to how honoring those commitments can better our lives and the lives we touch.”



Detecting dark matter

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 3:15pm

It’s a matter of dark matter.

As an undergraduate double major in mathematics and physics at Saint Mary’s University, Evan Shockley ’14 began searching for answers about the laws of nature and the cosmos. One year into the physics Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago, Shockley’s research has most recently focused on detecting dark matter in the form of weakly interacting massive particles.

Shockley, from Omaha, Neb., was chosen to intern his freshman and sophomore years at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), America’s premier particle physics laboratory.

Shockley was one of four Saint Mary’s students who joined Father Paul Nienaber, Ph.D., associate professor of physics at Saint Mary’s, in working on part of a detector subsystem for the MicroBooNE project. Their summer stipends were paid by a National Science Foundation grant.

“We were working with photomultiplier tubes to see if we should magnetically shield them or not,” Shockley said, explaining that enclosing detectors in a cylinder would cancel out any magnetic field, which could potentially impact the experiment’s results. Shockley’s responsibility was to help determine whether the potential impact was large enough it warranted the expense of using shields.

“I got a little lucky because not a lot of physics students have this opportunity,” he said. “I think that was what really turned me on to physics. Being able to do that early on made a huge impact on what I’m doing now. I don’t know if I’d be here if it wasn’t for that. It was pretty life-altering experience.”

As a double major, Shockey also did research in math while at Saint Mary’s; his thesis was titled “Generalized Fiducial Inference and the Poisson Distribution: Confidence Intervals, Simulations, and Applications.”

“I have a harder time explaining that one,” he said with a laugh. “There are two fields of thoughts of statistics, but there is a third minority field that is called fiducial inference. I applied the approach to different distributions like binomial distribution, where you flip a coin, or Poisson distribution, which expresses the probability of events occurring at fixed intervals.”

Shockley said the opportunity to do research in both areas of study, as well as work closely with professors, was invaluable. “Professors at Saint Mary’s are so supportive,” he said. “Doing this type of research put me on an even playing field with students from the Ivy Leagues,” he said. “I don’t think I had an advantage on most people applying, but that research experience put me in the game.”

Shockley is currently part of a research group studying direct detection in dark matter. “We’re doing calibration experiments here with the XENON1T experiment,” he said. “It’s similar to the MicroBooNE experiment, where it’s a big collaboration and each group in the collaboration does their own little part of their experiment.”

Shockley summarizes, “We’re trying to detect weakly interactive massive particles (WIMPs) by filling up tub of liquid Xenon and waiting for the hypothetical particle to run into the nucleus of Xenon and see it in a detector.”

Explaining physics in understandable terms is good practice for Shockley who is considering teaching at a smaller university after obtaining his Ph.D., but at this time he is open to multiple career paths. “I know this is what I should be doing right now and I’ll figure that out down the road,” he said.

Visitors get warm reception at Summer Preview Day

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 9:14am

Saint Mary’s hosted 42 high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors along with 62 parents and family members at the Winona Campus Summer Preview Day. This was a chance for potential students to experience the campus and find out about academics, residence life, activities, sports, and services. The event was also a great way to meet enthusiastic faculty, staff, coaches, and current students as they represented departments at the resource fair, spoke at breakout sessions, or gave tours.

To help visiting students see themselves at Saint Mary’s, many speakers at Summer Preview Day shared stories of real students who are known and mentored by professors, who have endless opportunities, and who enjoy successful outcomes after graduation.

There’s always something happening at Saint Mary’s! Learn about our upcoming admission events or schedule an individual visit here.

Check out more photos from the day on our Facebook album!

Alumni in Action: Ian Bents ’03

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 3:00am

Ian Bents ’03

Business banking, Profinium Financial, Inc., volunteer
Hometown: Fairmont, Minn.
Major: Management

While a student at Saint Mary’s, Ian Bents played both hockey and baseball, and volunteered at Bethany Catholic Worker Homeless Shelter on weekends. Upon graduation from Saint Mary’s he was hired by Profinium Financial, Inc. Shortly thereafter, he obtained a diploma from the Central States Conference of Bankers Association and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Over the course of the past nine years he coached baseball and hockey at Fairmont High School, was a STRIVE mentor to high school students preparing them for their post-graduation opportunities and responsibilities, and served as a member of the Fairmont Medical Center/Mayo Foundation Committee. In addition, he serves as president of the Fairmont Opera House Board, and the Martin County Youth Foundation Board.

“Outside of providing me with a great education, Saint Mary’s equipped me with life skills that I truly believe I could not have received elsewhere,” he said. “The opportunities that I had to build relationships with fellow students, as well as faculty and staff, provided me with infinite value that I will treasure forever.”

Read more Alumni in Action stories!

Under-Told Stories Project interviews Dalai Lama

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 10:05am

Fred de Sam Lazaro sits down with the Dalai Lama in India for an interview

The Under-Told Stories Project at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota regularly rubs elbows with world leaders and agents of change. Most recently, The Dalai Lama.

Last week, Fred de Sam Lazaro traveled to India for a face-to-face interview with the exiled Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, who describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. Believed by followers to be the manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet, he is a man of peace and has consistently advocated policies of non-violence.

In 1989, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership in the non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet and was the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for environmental issues. He has traveled to more than 67 countries spanning six continents, received more than 150 awards, honorary doctorates, prizes, etc., and authored or co-authored more than 110 books.

Through his work with the Under-Told Stories Project, de Sam Lazaro has traveled to some of the world’s most remote locations to cover a variety of stories, including global health, poverty and development, environmental issues, and social entrepreneurship. He is Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership, Director of the Under-Told Stories Project at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and PBS NewsHour correspondent.

The Under-Told Stories project is co-sponsored by and housed at the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership at the Saint Mary’s University Twin Cities Campus in Minneapolis. It is a longtime partner and key contributor to the PBS NewsHour.

For updates on the airing of the Under-Told Stories Project interview with the Dalai Lama, or to learn more information about the Under-Told Stories Project, visit


Saint Mary’s University Concert Band welcomes new members

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 2:07pm

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Concert Band is looking for members for the upcoming academic year. Experienced area musicians who love band music are invited to attend the first rehearsal of the season on Monday, Aug. 24, from 6:45 to 8 p.m.

The Saint Mary’s University Concert Band is a college-community partnership and is directed by Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, professor of music and music education. The band meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings from late August until graduation in early May. Rehearsals are held in Saint Yon’s Hall (Room 158) on Saint Mary’s Winona Campus.

All interested musicians are invited to attend the first sight-reading informational rehearsal of the season. Dedicated high school students, students from Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical who were active in their high school bands, and adult community musicians are welcome to join collegiate band members for an exciting new season.

The first concert is Oct. 3 and features “Music from the Stage and Screen” by composers John Williams, Vangelis, James Newton Howard, and Stephen Sondheim. Other performances are scheduled for Dec. 6 and March 20.

Placement auditions are individually scheduled between Aug. 26-30; membership and audition details will be provided to everyone on Aug. 24. (Auditions include excerpts from the fall music selections and scales.) If you are interested in the ensemble but cannot attend the first rehearsal, email or call 507-457-1675 to make alternate arrangements.

The Saint Mary’s Concert Band rehearses 6:45 to 8 p.m. Mondays and 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, with the wind ensemble (smaller select ensemble) practicing on Mondays 8 to 8:50 p.m.

Call 507-457-1675 or email at Please include what instrument you play as well as your full name and contact information.



Education alumni honored for excellence

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 12:47pm

Several Saint Mary’s University Graduate School of Education alumni earned prestigious awards in the past year—the most notable being Angela Harvala, a 2012 graduate of the M.A. in Education Program, and Erin Quinlan, a 2011 graduate of the M.A. in Educational Leadership program, who both brought home National Milken Educator Awards, frequently referred to as the “Oscars for Teachers.”

Harvala is a fifth-grade teacher at North Elementary in Princeton, Minn., and Quinlan is a reading specialist and instructional coach at the Captain Isaac Paine Elementary School in Foster, R.I. Each received a $25,000 cash prize and the acknowledgement of being one of the best teachers in the nation. Harvala was chosen, in part, because of her dedication in understanding students’ individual study habits and home lives, as well as her development of a “Catch Up Club,” a program that helps students complete work on time. Quinlan was honored for influencing school culture and student achievement by co-chairing the Curricular Revision subcommittee, co-running the school Learning Celebrations, and co-chairing the Student Council. She is also enrolled in her school’s principal residency program.

Saint Mary’s education alumni and students frequently make news for excellence in teaching. Here’s the list of alumni who recently earned excellence in education awards:

Child Care Exchange’s Emerging Leader — Roz Zuest M’12

MESPA Minnesota National Outstanding Assistant Principal— Christen Hull C’11

MESPA Minnesota School of Excellence Awards — Andrew Caflisch M’99, C’01; Peter Hardy M’01, C’03; Lisa Carlson M’97, C’05;

MESPA 2015 Division Leadership Award Recipients — Thomas Cawcutt M’04, C’06; Nichole Laven M’03, C’09; Cheryl Martin M’00; Christine Vang M’98, C’04

MASSP Minnesota Assistant Principal of the Year — Kimberly Budde M’00

MASSP Division Assistant Principal of the Year — Cheryl H. Lien M’07, C’08; Kristen DeClerk-Thompson C’05

MASSP 15 Years of Service Award — John Boche C’99

MASSP Division Principal of the Year — Greg Nelson C’01, Andrew James Beaton C’03, S’11

MASSP Division Middle Level Principal of the Year — Christopher Palmatier C’00

2015 Star of Innovation Award Gold Star winner — Greg Nelson C’01

2015 Star of Innovation Award Silver Star winners — Andrew James Beaton C’03, S’11; Timothy Dorway M’99, C’02; Brad Gregor M’02, C’04; Daniel Voce C’07; Steve Kovach M’95

2015 Star of Innovation Award Bronze Star winners — Tim Christensen M’09; Adam Ehrmantraut D’15, C’05; Kathy Vondracek C’10; Wade Johnson M’03

MESPA Minnesota National Distinguished Principal Program — Mark French, doctoral candidate

Top 10 finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year — Kathryn Oberg, current student in the M.A. in Educational Leadership program

Note: D = Doctorate; M = Master’s; S = Specialist; C = Certificate

MCA announces auditions for junior performance dance company

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 11:27am

WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will hold auditions for Dance Repertory Company II (DRC), its junior performance company for beginning and intermediate dancers ages 6-13.

DRC II is a special opportunity for young dancers to have a performance opportunity in one or more of the following dance styles: ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, or modern. Auditions are free and open to the public. Those cast will be required to pay a $65 performance fee which covers costumes, and they are required to be enrolled in at least once dance or theatre class at MCA during the fall session.

Auditions will be held at MCA’s home, the Valéncia Arts Center, on Saturday, Aug. 29, at noon. The final performances will be Dec. 4-5.

For more information about the auditions or MCA, visit, e-mail, “like” them on Facebook, or call 507-453-5500.

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

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


Dr. Jim Rodgers, D.A. retires after 34 years at Saint Mary’s

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 3:00am

Throughout his 34-year tenure, Dr. Jim Rodgers has co-taught a few classes with his friend and Social Science colleague Dr. Wes Miller.

The frequent banter and heated-yet-jovial academic discussions of these two professors frequently echo in the hallways of Saint Mary’s Hall.

Ironically, the two of them agreed about how to convey “anarchism” in their shared political and social thought course.

“We stood at the podium and announced that ‘Today, this is a class devoted to anarchism,’ and then we walked back to our offices and closed the doors,” Dr. Rodgers recounts.

The class was divided in their reactions to this unconventional turn of events. There was a murmur of discussion as students exchanged questioning looks. Some knocked on the professors’ office doors to see if class was actually over. Some thought it was appropriate to write essays about anarchism and slip them under their office doors.

“With anarchism, there is no coordination, no government, no control,” Dr. Rodgers said. They seemed to be missing the point. “But one student told us she just left because she thought that was what they were supposed to do. We told her, ‘You get the A!’ ”

It’s this type of camaraderie, as well as the candid discussions with students that Dr. Rodgers will miss most as he retires from Saint Mary’s this spring. What won’t he miss? The “end-of-semester chaos.”

TITLE: Professor of Social Science

YEARS AT SAINT MARY’S: Dr. Rodgers began teaching in fall of 1981.

CLASSES TAUGHT: He has taught a variety of courses in political science, social science, and interdisciplinary studies. He also taught for seven years in Saint Mary’s graduate program in management in Rochester.

PLANS FOR RETIREMENT: Dr. Rodgers is packing up and heading south to Arkansas, where he will continue working on books in progress. He also hopes to travel to visit his children, and his granddaughter in Connecticut.

Dr. Rodgers chose to come to Saint Mary’s shortly after receiving his doctorate. He also had an opportunity to teach in Delaware. But after being interviewed by Brother Frank Walsh ’45, then chair of the department, he chose Saint Mary’s … largely because it was further west. “I preferred to be West of the Mississippi, and I barely made it,” he said.

Staying for more than 30 years wasn’t originally the plan, but it evolved after making friends, raising a family, finding enjoyment in teaching a number of interdisciplinary courses, and serving as department chair for a number of years.

When Dr. Rodgers first went to college, he had thoughts of becoming a lawyer. By his junior and senior year, he thought that he might want to teach instead. “I had good relationships with my professors and I thought, ‘These people are great and I like what they do, and I think I could do that.’ ”

His love for political science came about much earlier. “I’ve always had that passion, since I was a little kid. It was the music I woke up to at sunrise.”

Some of his earliest memories involve sitting on a front porch in the country and listening to stories from his grandfather and neighbors, who were politically active people.

He fell into an interest in terrorism in graduate school as he was studying foreign policy and national security. It was the ’70s and ’80s, and nuclear weapons and deterrents were making the headlines. When President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed agreements that defused the nuclear issue, the new threat became more about terrorism.

Dr. Rodgers has done a great amount of research and writing in regard to domestic and international terrorism. He has published three books (“Facing Terror,” “Reason, Conflict and Power,” and “Blessed are the Poor”), two university texts, and a novel.

He also developed a course in 1984 about terrorism because he felt it would be important to students. Its relevance hasn’t deteriorated over the years, and he’s taught the class a number of times, including last semester.

“Sadly, when the world is going to heck, I get a lot of invitations to come and speak and phone calls from the media,” he said with a laugh.

In his retirement, Dr. Rodgers plans to head south—Little Rock, Ark., specifically—to be near family, and to set up his “base of operation.” He intends to work on two book projects: one a novel about domestic terrorism, and the other a non-fiction book about African terrorism and instability. Several Saint Mary’s students have contributed to the project, and he hopes to get it published by fall.

“I tried to be someone who made a good contribution to my discipline, my department and to the institutions,” he said. “It’s been a good experience and a good ride over many years. There have been a lot of great friends and associations that I have appreciated with the Brothers.”

Saint Mary’s a Princeton Review best college

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 8:23am

WINONA, Minn.–Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is one of the best colleges in the Midwest.

That’s according to the Princeton Review’s “2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region” listing. Released this week, on Aug. 3, 2015, the list includes only 159 colleges in 12 Midwestern states. Excellent academics and student satisfaction are the primary criteria for inclusion in the “2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list

This annual list identifies schools as “regional bests” across the country in four locales: the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and West. In total, 649 schools received this designation, which is a select group that constitutes only 25 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges.

The Princeton Review survey asks students to rate and comment on their colleges. Here are what some students say about Saint Mary’s undergraduate college campus in Winona:

  • Saint Mary’s “beautiful setting” and “tight-knit community that focuses on growing in mind, body, and spirit” sets students up for success.
  • An education major gushes that “Saint Mary’s offers students more than an education; this school gives students a home away from home.”
  • Saint Mary’s has many strong academic programs, including education, science, and art.
  • Students are enthusiastic about their classes, calling them “meaningful and worthwhile.”
  • Students say that professors are “very helpful and knowledgeable” and are here “truly for the students.”

The 12 Midwest states include: Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The Princeton Review is an education services company known for its tutoring, test-prep courses, books, and other student resources.

About Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
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.

Alumni in Action: Msgr. R. Paul Heiting ’78

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 3:00am

Msgr. R. Paul Heiting ’78

Priest, vice rector of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, campus minister, judicial vicar for the Diocese of Winona
Hometown: Winona, Minn.
Major: English and Religious Studies

Father Paul Heiting’s responsibilities in the Winona Diocese are wide and varied. Saint Mary’s University is fortunate to have Father Heiting preside at many weekday and Sunday liturgies. In a world where there is so much confusion and ambiguity, he possesses a wonderful gift of connecting with students, parents, faculty and staff. “As a native of Winona, I had the privilege of benefitting from solid Catholic formation, first in my family, and later through the local Catholic school system,” he said. “As a student at Saint Mary’s, I experienced first-hand the example and dedication of the Christian Brothers. At the college, my mother Betty served for many years as secretary to the academic dean. My sister, Chris, served for many years as director of financial aid. I find it providential that, in addition to my work at the diocese and seminary, I have been able to serve as a campus minister here at the university for the past many years. Seeing the faith come alive in the hearts and minds of our students is a real joy.”

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Summer research projects give science students hands-on experience

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 11:40am

CAPTION: Biology summer interns use the university’s Li-Cor Odyssey Fc imaging system to perform protein analysis.

Nearly all Saint Mary’s four-year undergraduate students participate in a research or creative project in addition to their major coursework. These practical, hands-on activities are invaluable to their broad education and add to their skillset and employability upon graduation. The experiences are also an opportunity to work alongside their accomplished professors or other professionals in their major field.

For students in the science majors, summer is a convenient and fertile time for internships, field work, and lab work on research projects. This year, biology, environmental biology, and biochemistry majors are working in summer internships supported by the university, by R&D Systems (thanks to alum Dr. Roger Lucas ’65), and by a Lasallian Collaborative Research Grant. Faculty supervise the projects and activities in the lab and field.

Summer science students, their research, and their supervising professors include: Hannah Gabrick, fish sampling with Dr. Josh Lallaman; Nick Thell and Bridget Pethke, antimicrobial properties of plants with Dr. Jeanne Minnerath; Ben Coleman and Allie Thiel, cancer research with Dr. Matt Rowley; and Megan Hafner and Bryan Ortman, physiological effects of atrazine exposure with Dr. Debra Martin.

In addition, Phil Emmerich is assisting with cancer research as the Saint Mary’s University Fellow at Gundersen Medical Foundation’s Kabara Cancer Research Institute. His supervisor is Dr. Steve Callister, head of microbiology research and molecular diagnostics laboratories at Gundersen. The institute and the academic collaboration were established with the support of the late Jon Kabara ’58 and his wife, Betty.