Saint Mary's University Campus News
Angie Mazzuca ’13 used to get physically ill at the thought of public speaking.
“But then I joined high school speech and never shut up,” she said.
The once-shy student is now a junior high English teacher coaxing other shy students to come out of their boxes—through drama, speech, knowledge bowl, and classroom presentations. And through a summer TEDx talk, she was able to share her message to a wider audience.
Mazzuca said she’s wanted to be a teacher since kindergarten. Currently a seventh-and eighth-grade English teacher at Pine City High School (Minn.), Mazzuca also coaches junior high speech and senior knowledge bowl. Previously she taught for three years at Rush City High School (Minn.), where she directed theatre and coached speech.
Working with junior high students comes with its set of challenges, but Mazzuca said she loves this age group because they’re “quirky, weird, unpredictable, have high energy, and are funny.”
And, in these formative years, Mazzuca said it’s the perfect time to break them out of their comfort zone. “Sometimes, they find a voice they didn’t even know they had,” she said.
This past summer Mazzuca, who student-taught in Arcadia, Wis., was asked to be part of a series of TEDx presentations around moments of “demur”—moments when a hesitation or objection changed everything. TEDx is a program, which is run under the TED brand to bring a TED-like experience to as many people as possible. TEDx events are independently organized but based on TED’s format and rules.
For Mazzuca, one demur moment was when she joined speech and started making up voices for silverware. She details the experience in her TEDx presentation, “Be yourself by being someone else.”
“By imitating others you absorb their traits into your personalities, take what works and leave what doesn’t,” she said. “It’s how you discover who you truly are.”
As children, she said, we all do role-playing. One day we’re a Power Ranger, the next day we might be a princess. It’s acceptable to experiment about who we are, but that unfortunately stops when we get older.
“What if we chose to try to be someone else for a day?” she suggests. “If you’re shy, try to be extroverted for the day. If extroverted, try to be a little quieter for the day.
“It’s going to be hard. You’re going to be uncomfortable. Break out of your comfort zone.”
Mazzuca strongly encouraged one of her speech students to join the school play. Even though he never would have otherwise, he truly enjoyed the experience.
“If a student can get rid of those fears in junior high, it will help them as they get older,” she said. “In junior high, you have no idea who you are. You think you do but you’re going to totally change. You might think you’re one way, but as you join an activity or make friends with different people, you uncover a different side of you that you never knew.”
Mazzuca said that in life we all imitate others: those we work with, our mentors, and those who inspire us.
As an undergraduate student at Saint Mary’s, Mazzuca’s mentors included English faculty member Dr. John Kerr, and her education professors Drs. Scott and Karen Sorvaag and Dr. Melissa Luedtke.
“I remember we had a kickball game at the Sorvaags’ house. It was super fun, and I remember the education department feeling like a big family,” she said. “Dr. Luedtke and Dr. Kerr helped me through a lot, especially my freshman year.”
Mazzuca said she’s considering returning to Saint Mary’s for English education graduate courses. Wherever the future leads, she won’t be afraid to try new endeavors.
Mazzuca ends her TEDx presentation with the call to action to “challenge yourself to imitate someone or something and ask yourself, ‘Is this me or is this totally against who I am?’ Experiment and have fun and remember to be yourself … eventually.”
Erin Doyle ’17 left for her London study abroad trip in 2015 as a quiet introvert.
“I didn’t think I could ever travel by myself,” she said. “I’d never been on a plane, never left the country other than Canada, and hadn’t even seen the sea. But I did so successfully, happily, and safely. And I can’t wait to do it again.”
That fall, Doyle visited Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, England, Ireland, and Scotland while abroad; she’s got a computer full of pictures to prove it. As she excitedly speaks about her trip, the shyness seems to have disappeared.
Yisset “Gigi” Gonzalez said her study abroad trip in 2016 made her more independent as well. In fact, one of her favorite things to do during free time was to “get lost” in the city of London. “I’d get on and off the bus at random stops and just explore a completely different culture and then find my way back,” she said.
Gonzalez also visited Italy, Spain, and Scotland, and photos from her unforgettable trip fill her phone.
The two say that a lot of traveling abroad involves learning as you go.
Within a couple of weeks, they say students learn how to navigate, how to start up conversations and network, and how to budget (cooking yourself is a plus; alcohol is really expensive; and prioritizing is a must, as is a comfortable backpack).
Both said the opportunity to study abroad in London while taking general education requirements was one they couldn’t pass up. And both students started out as theatre majors, but ended up switching majors to psychology before their trip.
This 12-week fall semester program is open to all majors. Classes are a combination of lectures and guided field trips. Students explore first-hand the historical sites and rich resources of this renowned city.
Doyle said she is interested in art therapy and, as an art minor, the ability to study art and theatre in the artistic hub of London “sounded pretty awesome.” The experience, she said, was even more than she’d hoped.
“I learned so much that semester, both exploring on my own and also with the field trips for class,” she said, listing off opportunities for a street art tour, to study British politics, and to examine the fascinating and ever-changing immigrant culture.
“I wasn’t expecting it to help my art, but it exposed me to so much: going to the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Tate Modern—as well as the street art—and seeing the work of important artists like Van Gogh, Monet, Banksy, and Ai Wiewie. It inspired me,” Doyle added.
As a psychology major, Gonzalez said she found it fascinating to learn about the prevalent role psychotherapy plays in mental health care in London. The classes, she said, were fascinating and very hands on, but she learned so much outside of class as well.
“Being over there made me realize how small I am and how many things in the world I should be paying attention to,” she said. “Now things that seemed like a big deal before seem irrelevant. You get a completely different worldview. I used to think that living in Winona, we were in a bubble, but America is its own bubble. Studying abroad changes your view in an essential way.”
Doyle added that the trip has also sparked an interest to study cultural psychology. “I also learned more about geography and became more globally aware,” she said.
Would they recommend the trip to other students?
“100 percent,” Doyle said.
“Definitely,” Gonzalez said. “Every student could benefit, no matter what their major is.”
The tentative fall semester 2017 London program dates are Aug. 28 through Nov. 17. The application deadline is Feb. 15, 2017. For more information, contact the Study Abroad Office at 457-1447 or go to http://studyabroad.saintmarys.community/saint-marys-programs/london-program to learn more.
Photo caption: Erin Doyle in Florence, Italy
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University’s Page Series will present a free “Off the Page” concert featuring Congolese guitarist Siama Matuzungidi at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at East Recreation Center, located at 210 Zumbro St. In addition, the ensemble will present a free African singing workshop for children at 4 p.m., also at East Recreation Center.
Siama’s Congo Roots is an acoustic quartet with a traditional Congolese feel-good sound. Siama’s masterful, intricate guitar work and spirited vocals are complemented by Dallas Johnson on harmonies and thumb piano (likembe), Brian Van Tassel on marimba, and Tim O’Keefe on percussion and harmonica. Together, they’ll take you back in time to experience the rural, under-the-stars sounds of DR Congo and the upbeat soukous dance halls of East Africa. Concertgoers will hear fun stories and even try singing in Kikongo, Lingala, and Swahili!
The African singing workshop will give young people a chance to try out percussion instruments and to sing as if they’re in Congo. Participants will breathe in from the diaphragm and produce a big, African vocal sound, try Siama’s own brand of yodeling, and sing call-and-response lines like the Pygmies of Eastern Congo. No experience is necessary, and no registration is required.
About Siama Matuzungidi
Siama Matuzungidi earned the moniker “soukous legend” as he recorded hundreds of radio hits during the ’70s and ’80s and performed on four continents with many of the biggest soukous artists. Soukous is an infectious dance genre known as the “sound of happiness.”
Now based in Minneapolis, he received a McKnight Fellowship in 2014 and, with the help of a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, released a critically acclaimed new album in May of 2016. He also received an MRAC grant to create a new CD of music for young audiences, which will be released this spring, and he recently joined COMPAS’ roster of teaching artists. In addition to performing at many festivals and special events, he has hosted a songwriting residency with young men, he enjoyed a summer residency for kids at Minneapolis Institute of Art, and he has presented interactive performances for kids at Intermedia Arts, the Ordway Theatre’s Children’s Festival, the MacPhail Center for Music, and Open Streets.
For more information about Siama’s Congo Roots and the Page Series, visit pagetheatre.org or call 507-457-1715. 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. Additional support comes from the Xcel Energy Foundation and the Elizabeth Callender King Foundation.
Photo by Carlos Grados
On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the Saint Mary’s University Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies is hosting a public discussion about how Rochester’s Destination Medical Center initiative will impact entrepreneurship and economic development in Southeastern Minnesota. The public is invited to gain an insider’s perspective from key Mayo Clinic and Rochester business and entrepreneurial leaders.
The 7 p.m. event, titled “The DMC Initiative: Fostering entrepreneurship in the region,” will be held in Figliulo Recital Hall (located in Saint Mary’s Performance Center). Guest speakers will include:
- James (Jim) A. Rogers III, the chair of Mayo Clinic’s newly formed Department of Business Development. This department will be focused on proactive partnering with industry to fill capability gaps and enhance Mayo’s practice. Rogers serves on the Mayo Clinic administrative team, as well as the Medical Industry Relations Committee and on the Investment Committee for Mayo Clinic’s $100 million Venture and Growth Fund. He also serves on several boards including Medical Alley Association and Resoundant, Inc.
- Bruce Kline, a licensing manager within Mayo Clinic Ventures. Kline directs a portfolio of intellectual property in the fields of radiology, semiconductors, orthopedics, and medical devices while serving on the Location Services and 3D Printing subcommittees. Since starting at Mayo Clinic more than 13 years ago, he has completed numerous revenue-generating agreements including patents and know-how licenses, joint development agreements, and internet provider-based startup companies.
- Xavier Frigola, director of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator, Mayo Clinic’s biotechnology incubator in Rochester. In that role, he helps healthcare startups in their initial phases. The accelerator currently has 23 companies. He also runs operations for Rochester’s $5M seed investment fund (early diligence, deal flow, closing investments, exits). The fund has invested $1.3M in 11 companies. Prior to that, he was a tech transfer professional with Mayo Clinic Ventures, and a researcher at Mayo where he worked in better ways to cure kidney and bladder cancer using your own body’s immune system.
- Jamie Sundsbak, community manager of Collider Coworking, an entrepreneurial and small business hub located in Rochester. Collider provides space, assistance, and events to fuel the Rochester entrepreneurial ecosystem.
With Mayo Clinic at its heart, the $5.6 billion Destination Medical Center (DMC) initiative is the catalyst to position Rochester as the world’s premier destination for health and wellness—attracting people, investment opportunities, and jobs, and supporting the economic growth of Minnesota, its bioscience sector, and beyond. Destination Medical Center will generate more than $5 billion in private investments and growth in the next 20 years. Hear how this economic boom could impact Southeast Minnesota from an entrepreneurial perspective.
University is only Minnesota school to tie 18 graduate-level
content credits in English to master’s degree
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Beginning May 2017, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will offer 18 credits of graduate-level coursework in English in a convenient online format. This coursework will satisfy requirements set forth by the Higher Learning Commission for those teaching college courses in secondary schools and at two-year colleges. Additionally, these 18 credits can be applied toward a Master of Arts in Education degree.
Saint Mary’s is only one of three schools in Minnesota offering this specific programming and is the only school applying the credits to a master’s degree.
This English coursework is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the ways in which language, critical perspective, and cultural situation impact the composition and analysis of texts. Each of the six courses offered responds to the needs of those seeking to become qualified concurrent enrollment instructors within the discipline of English.
Interested students may choose to:
- complete some or all of the 18 credits you need in order to satisfy requirements to teach college-level coursework
- complete an additional 18 credits to earn a Master of Arts in Education with English Specialization for those looking to complete the degree
For those looking to complete the full master’s degree, core coursework will be offered when minimum enrollment numbers are reached.
For more information or to register, go to smumn.edu/CES18.
Additional content areas are in development and will begin throughout the year. Contact Michelle Dougherty, enrollment counselor for the Graduate School of Education, at email@example.com or 612-728-5122 for more details.
WINONA, Minn. — March is a busy month for the Irish dancers from the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts.
The dancers will perform at the Monarch Public House—19 North Main St., Fountain City, Wis.—at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, during the “Rehearsal for St. Patrick’s Day.”
Under the direction of MCA Irish instructor Alanna Pelowski, the Irish dancers will also be at Lark Toys—63604 170th Ave., Kellogg, Minn.—at 1 and 2 p.m. Saturday, March 18.
On Sunday, March 19, two additional performances are scheduled. The first will be 3 p.m. in the Great Room of Watkin’s Manor—175 E. Wabasha St. in Winona, and the second will be 6 p.m. at the Cathedral of Sacred Heart’s St. Patrick’s Day Pot Luck and Celebration, located at 360 Main St.
Those interested in Irish dance at MCA can visit smumn.edu/mca or call 507-453-5500. A new session of classes start in May 2017. The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University, is a nonprofit organization offering programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for youth ages 18 months and older through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at 10th and Vila streets in Winona.
WINONA, Minn. — Anti-abortion activist, nationally renowned speaker, and former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson will speak at Saint Mary’s University 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17.
Johnson has a uniquely broad perspective. According to her website, she has always had a fierce determination to help women in need. It was this desire that both led her to a career with Planned Parenthood and caused her to flee the organization in 2009 and become an outspoken advocate for the pro-life movement.
She wrote the book “Unplanned” about her experiences and now travels internationally to share her story. She also founded And Then There Were None, an organization that helps abortion clinic workers find a way out through her ministry. In addition to advocating for the unborn, Johnson adopts a consistent life ethic and encourages others to do so by affirming the right to life and the dignity of all people from conception to natural death.
The event, free and open to the public, is being sponsored by the Culture of Life student organization at Saint Mary’s University. Johnson’s presentation will be held in Salvi Lecture Hall, located on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall.
WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Department of Theatre and Dance’s contemporary rock musical Next to Normal will explore how a suburban household copes with crisis.
Under the direction and musical direction of Judy Myers, Next to Normal will showcase the vocal talents of Saint Mary’s students through an energetic pop/rock score with more than 30 original songs. Through provocative lyrics, the audience will be taken on an emotional journey as they watch the devastating effect mental illness has on a “normal” family.
Dad’s an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens—on the surface, they appear to be a typical American family. And yet their lives are anything but normal because the mother has been battling manic depression for 16 years. Written by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kit, Next to Normal takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family’s story with love, sympathy, and heart.
“The structure of the play is like a rollercoaster,” Myers said. “Audiences will experience dramatic highs and lows. In many ways, the script brilliantly emulates the ups and downs of bipolar disorder.”
In order to truly understand the unpredictability of bipolar disorder and its effects on loved ones, Myers said her actors have worked with Dr. Beth Seebach of Saint Mary’s Psychology Department.
Winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Score, and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, Next to Normal was also chosen as one of the year’s 10 best shows by critics around the country, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, and New York Times.
Shows are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 16-18, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Page Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens and are available by calling the box office, 507-457-1715, from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.pagetheatre.org.
Pictured is Saint Mary’s student actress Bailey Steinke who plays Diana Goodman in the upcoming production of Next to Normal.
WINONA, Minn. — The current and former directors of Saint Mary’s University jazz programs will reunite with the student combo they toured with in Misato, Japan. The homecoming concert will be held at Wellington’s Pub & Grill in Winona on Sunday, Feb. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. Also appearing will be the H3O Jazz Trio—featuring A. Eric Heukeshoven and his sons Hans and Max.
The group of area high school and college musicians were invited to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the sister city agreement between Winona and Misato in December 2016.
Saint Mary’s Professor Emeritus Dr. John C. Paulson and Assistant Professor of Music A. Eric Heukeshoven were joined by seven students from Winona Senior High School, Cotter High School, and Saint Mary’s University. The highlight of their tour was a performance at the American cultural fair in Misato on Dec. 4, 2016 to an audience of over 300.
All donations at the Feb. 12 event will support the next group of Japan Ambassadors who will travel from Winona to Misato in April 2017. The event is open to the public, and donations will be gratefully accepted.
Photo caption: The Misato Jazz Combo performs at the Misato Cultural Fair. Pictured are, from left, back; A. Eric Heukeshoven, keyboard; Austin Weatherhead (WSHS), drums; Max Heukeshoven (Saint Mary’s), bass; front: Ananth Iyengar (WSHS), tenor sax; Max Derbyshire (WSHS), alto sax; Libby Crigler (WSHS), baritone sax; Samuel Graff (CHS), trombone; Dr. John Paulson, soprano sax; and Erik Zeller (WSHS), trumpet. (Photo by Harry Kline)
In middle school Quashingm “Q” Smith-Pugh ’17 cornered the market on candy by catering to adolescents with a sweet tooth.
Although the future Saint Mary’s marketing major hadn’t yet learned terms like “target market” or “return on investment,” he became an adolescent tycoon by building a lucrative business from his middle school locker—until the principal caught on.
At its height, he said he made between $100 a week to $100 a day selling candy bars.
“I’ve always had a mind for business,” Smith-Pugh said. “I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was young.”
Also as a kid, he revamped scrapped bicycles to resell to his friends. Never far from his toolbox, he became known as the guy who would fix bicycle chains at a reasonable price.
That drive to succeed in business stemmed from a deeply ingrained desire to improve his economic situation—you might say money was his movement. “The Money is the Movement,” in turn, became the first catch phrase used in a clothing line he developed a couple of years ago called “The Movement.”
Next came creating a symbol that characterized his slogan—an artist’s interpretation of the Monopoly man.
His first product was a T-shirt, which he started selling to friends. “People were feeling it,” he said with a smile.
When he transferred to Saint Mary’s last year to play basketball, “The Movement” moved with him, although the Twin Cities has remained his main target market.
In time, “The Movement” has gradually expanded to include sweatshirts, women’s clothing, “dad hats,” beanies, and more. He’s garnered a following, started a website, and created a social media presence—all in an effort to expand his brand.
People, he said, sometimes mistake the message as being too materialistic.
“Like with selling candy bars,” he said. “It was about being able to do for myself. Back then there were a few of us about the same age; we were all playing sports. We had to fend for ourselves and we helped each other out and stayed in contact. We called ourselves ‘The Movement.’ ”
Smith-Pugh said that several of his friends now have children, which only strengthens his message. “You need money to live, to take care of yourself and to take care of your family,” he said. “It’s about looking at where we came from and where we want to be in life. It’s about the drive and the direction we want to go. It’s about a better life.”
On his website, themovementclothing.bigcartel.com, Smith-Pugh describes “The Movement” as the process of life. “As young black men, we have to be able to beat the odds under any circumstances … to take that next step in the right direction and provide for ourselves and our families in a way that we can be proud of. With discipline, dedication, and determination, no one person can be held back. Keep it moving. After all, this is ‘The Movement’.”
It’s appropriate that the Cardinal basketball player has expanded slogans on his clothing line to include “What’s Your Hustle?” “Run it Up” and “Let’s Get to It.” The branded art has expanded to dollar signs and top hats.
So far, Smith-Pugh admits any profits are being reinvested in his business. During the summers, when he has more time, he makes a couple thousand dollars. But there’s never a point, he said, when he isn’t thinking about his business. And his marketing classes at Saint Mary’s—like international business, finance, and marketing—have been particularly useful.
“I’m applying everything I know and am learning in class to my business, and I’m applying my business experience to my classes,” he said.
“In the strategies class, we’re learning about putting more money into marketing. You’ve got to get your brand out, and social media marketing is free,” he said. You can check out his pages on Facebook (the movement clothing); Twitter (themovementclo) and Instagram (themovementclothing).
Additionally, he’s attended presentations by other entrepreneurs, hosted by the university’s Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. “It’s interesting to hear the steps they took,” he said. “To hear their stories motivates me.”
Smith-Pugh plans to continue his clothing line when he graduates this year. He hopes to find a job in marketing and sales and would love to find a position with an ad agency in California. Ideally, he would love to market for college or professional sports teams.
Chandu Valluri, assistant professor of business, said, “Q displays a passion for entrepreneurship and has made wonderful use of the educational opportunities provided by the Kabara Institute, the Business Department, and Saint Mary’s alumni to diligently work towards realizing his dream of building an iconic clothing brand. We look forward to what the future holds for him and are impressed with the progress he has made.”
Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center in Rochester has launched a monthly speaker series, which features presentations on environmental topics impacting the Southeastern Minnesota region. The series will be held the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the lower level of Cascade Meadow, located at 2900 19th St. NW. The events are free and open to the public, and no RSVP is needed.
The next speaker, Ray Faber, Ph.D., a biology professor at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, will present “Recovery of Henslow’s sparrows at Great River Bluffs State Park through habitat management” on Thursday, Feb. 16. Dr. Faber has studied Henslow’s sparrows in this location since 1994 and recommended habitat modifications that were successful in restoring a resident population. Henslow’s sparrows are on Minnesota’s list of endangered species and are found in only a few locations in the state. They have traditionally been found at GRBSP since its establishment, but disappeared in the early 1990s because of deterioration of their habitat.
Because of the lack of ice at Lake Winona, this year’s Saint Mary’s University Cardinal Plunge is being held at the university’s Jul Gernes Pool Sunday, Feb. 12.
Each year the Cardinal Plunge, sponsored by the Saint Mary’s Future Alumni Committee, raises funds for a good cause within the university community. This year proceeds will be given to Jack Cassidy, the 3-year-old son of Saint Mary’s head women’s soccer coach, Neil Cassidy of Rochester.
Last year the family discovered that Jack had a tumor on his jaw and he was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH). Jack underwent treatment involving chemotherapy and steroid injections. The money raised will be used to help the family with medical expenses and to acquire additional toys for the pediatric floor at Mayo.
Registration for the eighth annual Cardinal Plunge will run 1 to 2 p.m.; jumping and events will run 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.; and the silent auction will be held from 1 to 3 p.m.
To learn more about the 2017 Cardinal Plunge, to make an online gift to the Cassidy family, or to pre-register to plunge, visit smumn.edu/plunge17. The cost for the general public is $20 per person.
WINONA, Minn. — On Saturday, Feb. 4, students from Saint Mary’s University will host a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at the United Church of Christ, 161 W. Broadway. This event—to be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.—will support alternative spring break immersion and service trips for students involved in the S.O.U.L. (Serving Others United in Love) program.
This year students are traveling to Rochester, N.Y.; Browning, Mont.; Narragansett, R.I.; Tulsa, Okla.; and East Los Angeles, Calif. In each of these places participants will be learning about systematic poverty and injustice, as well as the creative solutions each community has in improving lives through education and community programming. Service will be done in schools, soup kitchens, community centers, and among homeless populations.
In its 30th year of sponsoring trips, S.O.U.L. is an outreach of Saint Mary’s Office of Campus Ministry. The mission of this program is to provide alternative break opportunities for students to learn about injustice and create relationships through service. Students work to raise funds to support their efforts, as well as pay a portion of the cost of the trip on their own.
For more information or to make a donation, contact Colleen Dunne, director of Campus Ministry, at 507-457-6936.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will cancel all day and evening classes Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, at its Rochester locations (including those at Cascade Meadow and Rochester Community and Technical College) due to extreme weather conditions.
Saint Mary’s University and its Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, based in Minneapolis, will remain open at its other locations. Students are advised to please check their email before driving to class should anything change for specific class sessions. When traveling, students, faculty, and staff are advised to please take necessary safety precautions.
The Page Series at Saint Mary’s University presents Alice in Wonderland Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Page Theatre. A production of award-winning theatre company Tout à Trac, the one-hour performance re-imagines Lewis Carroll’s classic tale in a library full of pop-up books. Each page becomes a door to Alice’s next adventure.
Alice refuses to do her homework. She prefers to play and daydream in her father’s study, where she stumbles across a strange rabbit that nibbles on books. Wanting to stop him from eating books, she follows him into his rabbit hole and discovers Wonderland, a world inhabited by many strange characters: an egg sitting on a wall who is afraid to fall, a philosopher caterpillar, a mad hatter, and the queen of a castle of cards—an intriguing universe where the rabbits are always late and where arguments lead to friendship.
Founded in 1998 and based in Montréal, QC, Tout à Trac has been exploring the inner workings of imagination and of theatre through a creative process in which acting with masks, storytelling, and puppetry all play an active part. Playfulness and thoroughness are the cornerstones of their work, and their shows are designed for all audiences, from the theatre connoisseur to the first-time attendee. The company’s first children’s show and winner of the 2008 Acadie-RIDEAU prize, Alice in Wonderland has been performed over 350 times in both French and English throughout Canada, the U.S., Asia, and Middle East. Adapted from the Lewis Carroll text, Alice in Wonderland was written by Hugo Bélanger and translated by Maureen Labonté.
The Page Series will also host a Gathering at the Winona Public Library Saturday, Feb. 4, at noon. Recommended for children in grades kindergarten through second grade, this free gathering will include an Alice in Wonderland-themed story time, a craft activity, and a chance to win tickets to the Feb. 8 performance.
Tickets to Alice in Wonderland are $14 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens. For more information or to order tickets, visit pagetheatre.org or call 507-457-1715 (noon-6 p.m., weekdays).
Alice in Wonderland is presented with the generous sponsorship of Winona National Bank. Page Series activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Additional support comes from the Xcel Energy Foundation and the Elizabeth Callender King Foundation.
Some biases are explicit and we’re unafraid to tout them: Anyone who voted for candidate “x” is ridiculous; Millennials are constantly on their phones.
Some biases are implicit and often hidden deep in the subconscious: If they really wanted a job, they could get a job; women just aren’t as good at math and science as men.
Regardless of whether they are internal or vocalized, the Saint Mary’s University community was reminded this past week that biases can be hurtful to individuals, and—as we’ve all witnessed in recent events—can cause division on a national and global scale.
Saint Mary’s hosted a series of events this past week in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Each event was designed to bring about discussion and further the work of Dr. King—to foster solidarity, respect, and inclusion.
Dr. Yvonne Cheek, president of the Millennium Consulting Group and a strategic change consultant, reminded students, “We are all predisposed to have biases. We get trapped in patterns that are familiar and comfortable. They can be relearned but it takes a concentrated effort.”
As an African American male, Chazz Robinson ’17 said he grew up with a bias toward the police. The shootings of Trayvon Martin and other African Americans only strengthened his distrust. After befriending someone who became a police officer in one of the worst districts in Milwaukee, Robinson came to a realization that there are biases on both sides. “My friend reminded me that you don’t know what you would do when placed in these tough situations,” he said. “He asked me what I would do if my only goal was to get home to my family at night. In the end we’re not all so different. Gang members will do what they have to do to feed their families … and police officers just want to feed their families as well.”
Brian Bansley, a junior Criminal Justice major, said he learned from Dr. Cheek that being aware of biases is important because “it can keep us considerate of the people around us.” And, he added, everyone should be careful about media stories because even when writers may try to stay unbiased, unconscious word choices can alter the meaning of the story.
Maetzin Cruz-Reyes ’17, a Biochemistry major, agreed. “Biases in today’s media can contort and shape how we view a group of people. The biases that arise in media can either join or separate the country.”
Briana Torres ’17, a Biochemistry major, added that, as a result, it is important for readers to choose news outlets carefully and remain critical.
Cruz-Reyes found the workshop helpful on a personal level. “It reminded me what bias looks like and how it can appear in our lives and to try to be more conscious about it,” she said.
“It is important for all of us to be aware of our biases so that we do not discriminate against anyone intentionally or unintentionally,” Torres added.
“Implicit biases can shape generations,” Dr. Cheek warned as she urged student leaders to “put up your antennae to catch yourself and others. Be an active bystander.”
Author, alumnus, motivational speaker, and former University of Minnesota football player Dr. Tommy Watson told his audience to have “willpower and WAYpower.”
Watson M’05, D’14 detailed a very difficult childhood, growing up with parents who were drug addicts and professional shoplifters. His mother was arrested 11 times during his first year of life while his father was incarcerated. By the time he was a senior in high school, he was homeless and had lived in nearly 30 different locations. Despite the many transitions and challenges, he was recruited as one of the top football players in the nation and went on to obtain four college degrees.
His latest book, The Resilience of Champions™: Secret Habits of Highly Resilient Individuals and Organizations, chronicles his personal experiences.
In addition to a public presentation, Dr. Watson addressed first-generation students at Saint Mary’s.
“You can’t be mediocre and do the bare minimum if you want to succeed in life,” he said. “You have to discover your purpose and passion.”
Mari Morales-Lozano, a junior International Business and Marketing major and a First Generation Scholar, said what impressed her most about Dr. Watson was his ability to not only build himself up—despite the odds stacked against him—but also his dedication to inspiring others.
“I learned that in actuality the only thing ever truly stopping me from reaching my dreams is myself,” she said.
Dr. Watson asked the audience to take a 30-day challenge: to live out their lives to their full potential for 30 days as if the life of a loved one depends on it. “This truly gave me inspiration since, in my case, my parents have dedicated their entire lives and made so many sacrifices so that I may be successful,” Morales-Lozano said.
Dr. Watson told first-generation students, “You set the tone for generations to come. You are role models.”
The week also included conversations with award-winning Minnesota author, William D. Green, author of Degrees of Freedom: Civil Rights in Minnesota 1865-1912. Green discussed the history of race relations in Minnesota.
Other events included Drum & Dance from Guinea West Africa; Tall Paul, an Anishinaabe and Oneida hip-hop artist; collections for the Winona Food Shelf; the movie, Selma; and more.
Photo caption: Dr. Yvonne Cheek met with student leaders to discuss various biases, how they can be identified, and everyone must work together to eliminate them.