Saint Mary's Campus News
WINONA, Minn. — The following students received bachelor of arts degrees in December 2017 from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona:
Elizabeth Adames, Brooklyn, N.Y., daughter of Anna Ramirez
Nicholas Bauer, Kasson, Minn., son of Dean and Cheryl Bauer
Jessica Berggren, Afton, Minn., daughter of Jeff and Janell Berggren
Matthew Brumfield, Burnsville, Minn., son of Gregory and Gayle Brumfield
YunJuan Dou, Winona, Minn.
Joel Egbert, Sparta, Wis., son of Martin Egbert
Jacob Eslinger, Cadott, Wis., son of Brian and Kendra Eslinger
Matthew Graber, Spring Valley, Minn., son of Rodney Graber
Zachary Hillman, Fullerton, Calif., son of Shawn and Lisa Hillman
Emily Hodgman, West Concord, Minn., daughter of Frank and Sarah Hodgman
Marilyn Hughes, McKinney, Texas
Andrew Johnson, Rochester, Minn., son of Robert and Mary Johnson
Rachel Lamberty, Sioux Falls, S.D., daughter of Gary and Renae Lamberty
Joseph Manders, Apple Valley, Minn., son of Michael and Mary Manders
Mary Miller, Kellogg, Minn., daughter of Karen Miller
Sherman Moga, Shoreview, Minn., son of Richard and Nerie Moga
Brian Propp, Eagan, Minn., son of Mike and Shirley Propp
Rachel Putnam, Dodge Center, Minn., daughter of John and Angela Putnam
Barrett Reif, New Brighton, Minn., son of Robert Reif
Megan Vander Lugt, Edgerton, Minn., daughter of Alan and JoLynn Vander Lugt
Jiale Zhao, Winona, Minn.
Abigail Zinke, Woodbury, Minn., daughter of Brad and Jenifer Zinke
WINONA, Minn. — The Page Series at Saint Mary’s University will bring acclaimed storyteller and presenter David Gonzalez to the community for two free events on Monday, Jan. 29.
- At 1 p.m., Gonzalez will offer a storytelling workshop for all ages at the Winona Friendship Center, located at 251 Main St. Inspired by a quote from StoryCorps founder David Isay, “Listening is an act of love,” Gonzalez will use StoryCorps techniques to guide participants in sharing and celebrating each other’s stories.
- At 3 p.m., Gonzalez will present a story time gathering for youth at the Winona Public Library, located at 151 W. 5th St. This storytelling event will delight and educate children in grades K-5 and their families.
Gonzalez, accompanied by pianist Daniel Kelly, will also perform two school matinee programs, Aesop Bops! and Cuentos: Tales from the Latino World, at the Page Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 30 on the Saint Mary’s University campus. Schools interested in attending can contact the Performance Center box office about availability.
Gonzalez is a professional storyteller, poet, playwright, musician, and public speaker. He’s a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department and recipient of the International Performing Arts for Youth Lifetime Achievement Award for Sustained Excellence. Gonzalez has created numerous productions and performed his poetry project at colleges, festivals, and theaters throughout the country.
More information about these events is available at pagetheatre.org or by calling 507-457-1715 (noon-6 p.m., weekdays).
WINONA, Minn. — General auditions for the spring Cinderella ballet performance will be held by the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) at the Valéncia Arts Center on Jan. 20 from 3 to 6 p.m.
The Dance Repertory Company performance will run April 19-22 at the Page Theatre on the Saint Mary’s University campus. With whimsical scenery, a romantic story, and comical stepsisters, this production of Cinderella promises a dose of humor with the majesty of classical ballet. The enchanting music of Sergei Prokofiev helps bring this well-loved fairy tale to life.
It’s free to audition and roles are available for male and female dancers ages 6 and older. Those cast will pay a $75 performance fee (with the exception of Saint Mary’s students) and will need to be enrolled in at least one dance class at MCA. The performance fee covers rehearsal instruction and costumes.
For more information on auditions, check out the Q&A on the MCA website.
WINONA, Minn. — Young artists from the community will display their work starting Jan. 17 in the fourth annual Winona Area Homeschool Art Exhibit. The event, hosted by the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA), will be held at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at 1164 W. Howard St.
The walls in Galleria Valéncia will be filled with artwork from homeschooled students in the Winona area. The artists, who range in age from from 3-15 years old, used a variety of media, subject matters, and artistic techniques. Paint pouring, string art, oil pastel drawing, watercolor painting, and photography are just a few of the creative ways the student artists used to express themselves.
The public is invited to the open house on Jan. 17 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. But the exhibit can also be viewed through the end of January during regular business hours (Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon).
A generous donation from the Elizabeth Callender King Foundation helped supply a new hanging rail system to display the art. Participating artists are: James Bickerstaff, John Paul Bickerstaff, Auric Gotz, Kinsey Keeling, Gregory Martin, Leonarde Martin, Louis Martin, Isaac Meinke, Preston Meinke, Madeline Modjeski, Iliana Rickert, Luke Rickert, Laura Schleich, Seamus Schwaba, Aviya Swagger, Isaias Swagger, Sam Swagger, Abby Thurmer, and William Thurmer.
Photo caption: Artwork that will be featured in the exhibit titled Fall by James Bickerstaff, age 11.
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will break ground this May on a new $704,000 baseball clubhouse, made possible by a generous lead gift from an alumnus.
In honor of his experiences at Saint Mary’s, both in school and on the field‚ particularly under the guidance of Hall of Fame Coach Max Molock, Marc Weisenburger ’75 of Plymouth, Minn., made the lead gift toward the 2,500-square-foot facility, which will be located on the south side of the Gostomski Fieldhouse. The clubhouse will include:
- a locker room with 46 locker stalls
- a players’ lounge with spaces for athletes to study, have team meetings, and enjoy quiet time
- big screen TVs, a ping pong table and gaming area
- a coaches’ space
- bathrooms and a shower facility
- a laundry facility
The clubhouse will be named “Pudge’s Place” after Weisenburger’s nickname from his playing days as a catcher with the Saint Mary’s baseball team from 1971 to 1975.
Weisenburger said he was inspired by the way benefactors supported the university’s new Science and Learning Center. “People are willing to get behind something if they see others forging ahead,” he said. “I wanted to see how Saint Mary’s baseball program could have a difference maker. I wanted to see what we could create that would differentiate Saint Mary’s baseball program from other MIAC baseball programs. This creates value around the baseball program, and it allows us to compete against larger schools with bigger budgets.
“In the end, when you see a student’s excitement, it could be a difference maker for a student to want to be part of the legacy created by Max Molock during his 42 years of leading the baseball program,” Weisenburger added. “That’s always the foundation. It always gets back to Max and the foundation he created. That’s what makes it special, but you have to continue to invest in the tradition.”
Nick Winecke ’07, associate athletic director and head coach of the Saint Mary’s baseball team, called the new addition to Cardinal athletic facilities “a game changer.”
“This clubhouse will help us competitively,” Winecke said. “It will be something very special to Saint Mary’s. The opportunity to differentiate ourselves in a positive way and give our athletes a space they can use year-round to study in, and to learn from one another in, and to grow in is a big thing.”
Winecke is also proud that of the 46 lockers to be located in Pudge’s Place, 35 have already been sponsored by Saint Mary’s alumni athletes, many of whom have graduated within the past 10 years. The cost to sponsor a locker was set at $2,000, but several alumni, Winecke said, have made gifts over the minimum sponsorship amount — further proof that Saint Mary’s alumni cherish their experiences and want to help future student-athletes have the same great experience.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Winecke said, adding that “the clubhouse is part of a bigger plan for enhancing Saint Mary’s athletics, and another welcomed and visible example of what is possible on campus when generous benefactors contribute to athletic facilities and programs.”
Ultimately, Winecke said, the clubhouse project is possible because of Weisenburger’s passion for Saint Mary’s. “Marc has been a big supporter of our program for the past 10 years,” Winecke said. “It’s about developing people, and this is one way he believes he can help us develop strong leaders.”
Anyone wishing to contribute to the baseball clubhouse is invited to contact Winecke at email@example.com or 507-457-7231. They can also donate online at smumn.edu/giving.
CAPTION: Saint Mary’s baseball alumni including lead donor Marc Weisenburger ’75 (front row, center left) are funding a new clubhouse on campus. This photo also depicts legendary coach Max Molock, back right, with his 1972 championship baseball team.
WINONA, Minn. — Adonis Puentes and the Voice of Cuba Orchestra will perform at Saint Mary’s University’s Page Theatre on Friday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m.
Hailing from Artemisa, Cuba, the Juno Award-nominated artist is known for his rich vocals surrounded by guitar, tres, piano, bass, trumpet, and percussion in tight, multi-layered arrangements.
Puentes thrives on the growth and acclaim for his original sonero sound. “I feel like a messenger of my roots and tradition, blesses that with me I have taken my music and heritage to many different places in the world; from Cuba, to Canada, USA, Mexico, Europe,” said Puentes. “My mission is to make you dance and enjoy my melodies and rhythms.”
The Page Series event will begin with free salsa dancing lessons from the Saint Mary’s Ballroom Dance Club at 6 p.m. in the Performance Center’s Ben Miller Lobby. Photographs of Cuba, taken by Dr. Gary Diomandes of the Department of Theatre and Dance and Professor Eric Heukeshoven of the Music Department, will also be exhibited.
In conjunction with the event, Dr. Juandrea Bates of Winona State University will offer a Page in History talk covering the history of Cuban music, focusing on the global and political influences shaping Cuban music. This free event will take place at 12:05 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at the Winona County History Center.
Tickets to the Page Series performance are $27 for adults and $24 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are not required for the Page in History or salsa dancing events. For more information or to order tickets, visit pagetheatre.org or call 507-457-1715.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will host open house information sessions in two Twin Cities locations for adults who want to learn more about the university’s many graduate and professional school program options. The events, which are free and open to the public, are happening:
- Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Saint Mary’s University Center, 2540 Park Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55404.
- Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Saint Mary’s Apple Valley Center, 14200 Cedar Ave., Apple Valley, MN 55124.
All are invited to attend, especially individuals who are interested in pursuing a Saint Mary’s program offered in the Twin Cities, including a variety of bachelor’s completion and advanced-degree options. Register here.
Saint Mary’s offers more than 60 programs for adults through its Schools of Business and Technology, Education, and Health and Human Services. For a list of bachelor’s completion, master’s, graduate certificate, specialist, and doctoral degrees offered, visit smumn.edu/academics.
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University faculty and students will discuss James Cone’s The Cross and the Lynching Tree (Orbis, 2013) from 7-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22. The event will take place in Salvi Lecture Hall, located on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall.
This book is already regarded as the swan song of one of the most influential theologians in America. The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful work, Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of the black community.
In a work that spans social history, theology, and cultural studies, Cone explores the message of the spirituals and the power of the blues; the passion and of Emmett Till and the engaged vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.; he invokes the spirits of Billie Holliday and Langston Hughes, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Ida B. Wells, and the witness of black artists, writers, preachers, and fighters for justice. And he remembers the victims, especially the 5,000 who perished during the lynching period. Through their witness he contemplates the greatest challenge of any Christian theology: how life can be made meaningful in the face of death and injustice.
As Cone’s work takes a multidisciplinary approach, a multidisciplinary panel of Saint Mary’s faculty members will address on the text and its insights. Panelists will include Erin Mae Clark, English; Tycho de Boer, history; Wes Miller, sociology; and Susan Windley-Daoust, theology. A student discussion will follow.
The public is welcome, regardless of whether or not you have read the book, which is available at the Saint Mary’s campus bookstore and is on reserve at Saint Mary’s Fitzgerald Library.
Destiny Dux ’16 has only worked at IBM as a financial data scientist for a few months.
But after making presentations at work, she’s received the positive feedback that she sounds like a seasoned professional.
She owes it all, she says, to her finance and data analytics and business intelligence courses at Saint Mary’s, particularly her business strategies course.
“I don’t think there is any course at any other college that is as strenuous and helpful as the business strategies class offered at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “Every few weeks we presented a different business plan to a panel of judges who were supposed to represent the most difficult group of individuals we will ever face in our career. It was nerve-wracking, frustrating, extremely challenging, and yet, it was my absolute favorite course. It prepared me in every way possible for presenting complex subjects, conflict resolution, and handling frustrating situations that may arise when working with a group of individuals.
“The skills I developed from this course have set me apart from my peers and have helped me to quickly advance in my career at IBM. I have had multiple training courses at IBM, and every single time, it was noted that I spoke confidently and professionally, didn’t waiver, and it seemed like I’d been doing this for years,” she added.
In fact, Dux is now teaching several classes at IBM. “At IBM they push us to be our best,” she said. “They get right to the point and don’t sugar-coat it, but that’s the business world. I think Saint Mary’s prepared me well to take criticism and grow and be professional and succeed in whatever I want to do.”
As a freshman Dux, a Winona native, thought she would major in actuarial science; then she switched to piano performance. In total, she considered nine different majors before Saint Mary’s began offering the business intelligence and data analytics major.
“Michael Ratajczyk (who teaches in this major) worked with my dad at Fastenal,” she said. “I heard about him before he even came to Saint Mary’s, so I knew he would be a really good teacher because he had true business experience to apply to what he was teaching in the classroom.”
“This major was a perfect fit for me,” she said. “I learned math before I could read. I also love computer science, technology, and the statistical emphasis.” Not surprisingly, Dux never hesitated to dive into a male-dominated field.
“My parents instilled in me the ‘follow our dreams’ motto,” she said. “I’ve never been intimidated. If you work hard, it doesn’t matter; it’s your work that distinguishes you.”
At IBM, Dux is part of a new team of three data scientists making financial forecasting models for Rochester IBM and IBM International. “We work with a tool called SPSS, which is their statistical program that allows us to use the different models and things called nodes to create forecasts. So if an individual presses the ‘play’ button, they don’t have to worry about the math, statistics, or accuracy. It makes the financial analyst’s role easier and more efficient.”
She most loves the independence that is associated with her position. Working in a repetitive role has never appealed to Dux. “My job really matters and that pushes me to learn and to grow and to prove myself,” she said. “The challenge of this position is really pretty exciting.
“My overall career goal is to utilize all the skills I’ll have learned at IBM and Saint Mary’s and to be sure I’m constantly growing and pushing myself to the limit within the data analytics realm.”
General auditions are Jan. 20
WINONA, Minn. — Professional dancer Jarod Boltjes, a Saint Mary’s University and Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts alumnus, will soon be returning to Winona to dance the role of the Prince in the DRC’s spring production of the classical ballet Cinderella.
Boltjes studied dance and art at Saint Mary’s, where he first discovered his love for dance by performing and training with the Dance Repertory Company. Some of his first roles with DRC included Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker and Conrad in Le Corsaire. While in college, he studied abroad in the U.K. and Ireland and worked with such artists as Gerri Houlihan, Richard Chen-See, Sara Procopio, and “Lil C” from So You Think You Can Dance.
Since graduating from college, he has worked with numerous dance companies in the Twin Cities and currently performs with St. Paul Ballet and Contempo Physical Dance. This is his third season with Contempo as a company dancer and fifth season with St. Paul Ballet as a company dancer and production manager.
The Dance Repertory Company production of Cinderella will be presented at Page Theatre at Saint Mary’s University April 19-22, 2018. For ticket information, visit pagetheatre.org. Boltjes will be joined on stage with Winona-area dancers. Pointe roles have been cast, but for more information about general auditions Jan. 20 for dancers ages 6 and older, visit the MCA website at: mca.smumn.edu/2017/09/24/cinderella-auditions-performance-q-a/. Ballet master classes with Boltjes are being planned during the rehearsal process, so watch for more details.
Photo caption: Jarod Boltjes in Dance Repertory Company’s production of Le Corsaire in 2012.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — More than 400 adult learners will graduate from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and its Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs in January. Two commencement convocations are planned for Saturday, Jan. 13, to honor the graduates.
The ceremonies, to be held at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Saint Mary’s University Center on Park Avenue in Minneapolis, will feature four graduates who have been invited to provide reflections as part of the ceremonies. Another three graduating students will be honored with Saint Mary’s Outstanding Final Paper Awards.
Graduating students providing reflections are:
- Olive Long, B.S. in Accounting
- Jessica Schuler, M.S. in Geographic Information Science
- Sarah Schwie, M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy
- Paul Shepherd, Ed.D. in Leadership
Graduating students being honored with Outstanding Final Paper Awards are:
- Kendra Evanoff, B.S. in Business Administration, “Professional and Academic Development”
- Seneca Krueger, M.A. in Health and Human Services, “Shame in the Dyad: Attachment and Emotionally Focused Therapy”
- Brian Zambreno, Ed.D. in Leadership, “Exploring the Morale of Middle-Level Public School Teachers in Minnesota, a Causal Comparative Study”
Kevin Black ’08 is a lifelong athlete and says he operates best on a team.
A former Cardinal baseball player at Saint Mary’s University, Black is now a finance manager at Abbott Laboratories, formerly known as St. Jude Medical, where he leads a team that forecasts the company’s sales.
“I like being part of a team atmosphere. I’m fortunate to lead a team, and I’m fortunate to be part of a larger team,” Black said. “Growing up playing sports my entire life, I was always part of a team that was trying to win. That’s what I like about the role I’m in. I like working for a team that gets to achieve goals together.”
Abbott manufactures products like pacemakers, heart valves, stents, and other medical devices. Black has worked in corporate finance for about six years; but he is especially proud to work for a business that helps people. “At the end of the day, I work for a company that makes life-saving products,” he said. “And that’s pretty special.”
An accounting major and economics minor, Black spent three years working for Deloitte, a Big Four accounting firm, before moving to his current company. He always knew he was going to major in something related to business or finance.
“I’m super passionate about economics,” Black said. “I love the macro and micro economics of the world. I knew that in order to use that someday in the business world, I’d probably have to add an accounting side to it.”
Black said Saint Mary’s helped prepare him “without question” for what he’s doing now. He said his accounting classes were demanding, but helped prepare him for life in the real world. “In fact, when I interviewed at Deloitte, they asked how I did in Intermediate Accounting I and II,” he said. “I didn’t realize those courses were going to set the tone for whether or not I was going to get this job in the future.”
Black also remembers his Strategic Management course (also known as Strategies) and how stressful but rewarding the final presentation was. “The stress and anxiety that goes into preparing and making sure you’re well-versed on the topic at hand — that doesn’t change when you move to the business world,” he said. “Saint Mary’s does a nice job of exposing students to what the environment is going to be like once they get into the real world.”
He and his wife Katie welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Luke, just two months ago. Someday Luke may add to the family legacy the Blacks have established at Saint Mary’s.
Kevin’s dad Jeffrey Black ’77 and brother Stephen Black ’06 are also Saint Mary’s alumni. “My dad has a really close group of friends from Saint Mary’s that he still keeps in touch with. They actually meet every Sunday to watch the Vikings play, which they’ve been doing for years,” Black said. “I grew up watching the Vikings and listening to these guys talk about their stories from Saint Mary’s.”
Black said he also formed strong relationships while attending Saint Mary’s. “Starting on the baseball team as a freshman, I had about 30 friends right away,” he said. “A lot of those guys I met that first day of practice are the guys who I still stay in contact with right now. I didn’t realize it would be that impactful.”
Black returns to Winona every year for the golf tournament in September and one or two other times a year to catch a game or meet up with friends. He’s also been generous in giving back to the baseball team and Saint Mary’s.
“I feel it’s important to give back to the institutions that made an impact on your life, and I think Saint Mary’s undoubtedly made a positive impact on my life,” Black said.
“You don’t go there just for the curriculum, you don’t go there just for the location, you don’t go there just for the size of the classes … You go there for the collection of all those items. I don’t know if there are a lot of schools in the country that can compete with that. That’s what makes Saint Mary’s unique.”