Recent News from Campuses
WINONA, Minn. — Nearly 50 unique and colorful pieces of artwork created by local students are now on display in Galleria Valéncia at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA), 1164 W. Howard St. The artwork was created by students of Jeffrey Morgan, who teaches K–4 at Washington-Kosciusko, Goodview and Rollingstone elementary schools.
Throughout April, visitors can view creative works that represent lessons on famous artists and their styles, including Modigliani-style self-portraits, Rousseau stylized landscapes, and pieces inspired by the classic book “Harold and the Purple Crayon.” Other projects explore color relationships and a variety of art materials and techniques such as string painting, still life, and collage.
The public is invited to visit Galleria Valéncia during regular office hours and during any programming. To check scheduling, call 507-453-5500.
MCA is in the process of setting up art shows for the 2018-19 school year. If schools, groups, or professional artists are interested in displaying their work, contact Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Winona Daily News featured a letter to the editor written by Saint Mary’s alumnus Bill Figel. Read the letter online.
Winona Daily News featured an article about Dorothy Day’s granddaughter Kate Hennessy’s visit to Winona. Read the article online.
The last two “Campus Notes” issues of the academic year will be Fridays, April 27 and May 4. The submission deadline for each issue is the Wednesday prior. Send submissions to Carissa Hahn at email@example.com.
From St. Olaf College’s founding by Norwegian immigrants to today’s “Dreamers,” the college’s commitment to immigrants from all nations is reinforced by its mission. In the most recent issue of St. Olaf Magazine, alumni and students share their personal immigration stories in the hope that Oles will continue to work alongside neighbors, friends, and strangers to welcome all voices and experiences to America. This is one story from that series.
Alexis Valeriano and his sister came to the United States from Mexico when they were six and five years old, respectively. They were brought across the border by others and reunited in California with their mother, who had left Mexico several years earlier. They moved to Northfield shortly thereafter to be closer to other relatives. Valeriano became a lawful permanent resident of the United States in 2015. He is studying political science and is active in Presente and SOMOS, student organizations that promote understanding and awareness of Latino culture.
“My mother came over first, to provide for us. I remember the day that she left; it was very sad. I remember the bright yellow taxi vividly.
“My sister and I stayed with my grandparents, and they took care of us. We lived in a rural town in Mexico, so I have memories of the farm and of drinking water out of the surface irrigation system. Also, eating cucumbers and walking barefoot and killing salamanders with my slingshot.
“We came to California in the middle of the school year when I was in first grade. Then I was held back a year because of my low understanding of English. We moved from place to place, and it was a struggle financially. My aunt was living in Northfield and she said the rent wasn’t as high and you could find jobs, so we moved here.
“It was hard adapting because at the time, my sister and I were two of the very few Latinos at school. I started to learn English better — as any kid, I picked it up fast. But it was still hard to make friends. Not only was there a language barrier, but there were racial and socioeconomic differences too.
“My mom applied for permanent residency through a visa program. It’s a slow process. We started the process when I was in sixth or seventh grade, and permanent residency was given to us when I was a senior in high school, just in time to apply for college.
“St. Olaf has really helped me financially. Also, it’s a great school. I can be near my family and help them out when I need to. I have more Latino friends, who I can be at home with and relate to. I’m grateful for the people who have led me to where I am and have pushed me to attend college. Being first generation, I really don’t have that push coming from my family, considering that they themselves haven’t gone through it. I’m very proud of my sister too, who’s attending Rochester Community and Technical College.
“Going through difficult times at home — both financially and emotionally — and through instances of discrimination has taught me to keep moving forward, because it always gets better. Lately I’ve been looking at activism and social justice work. I feel like that’s what I’m passionate about. I want to help people who have gone through the same experiences as I have. I want to use my degree to help vulnerable populations.”
“Going through difficult times at home and through instances of discrimination has taught me to keep moving forward, because it always gets better. Lately I’ve been looking at activism and social justice work. I want to help people who have gone through the same experiences as I have. I want to use my degree to help vulnerable populations.” — Alexis Valeriano ’19
When Valerie Brukhis got the email while sitting in class, she had to step out into the hall for a couple minutes and realize what had just happened. It’s hard to blame her: Brukhis had just found out she was named a Fulbright Scholar.
Every year, finalists are selected for the award by the presidentially appointed 12-member J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The prestigious Fulbright program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
“I sincerely am in disbelief,” Brukhis said. “It’s unbelievable. I’m so grateful and couldn’t have imagined this in my wildest dreams.”
After graduating in May, Brukhis will hold an internship with the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York, and will then leave in October for Tel Aviv, Israel. There her Fulbright scholarship will fund her earning over one year an accelerated master’s degree in security and diplomacy. Brukhis will specifically study cybersecurity and military intelligence, building on a huge range of experiences she has put together over four years at St. Thomas.
“In my field it’s really rare to have a funded master’s [degree]. … Sitting there with my parents and receiving the award letter, understanding this is paid for and is merit-based, that’s incredible,” she said. “Israel for personal and religious and professional reasons, it’s the pinnacle. It’s the best place I could be for all those things in terms of development.”
Brukhis worked extensively on the application process with history assistant professor Michael Blaakman, himself a Fulbright Scholar, in another in a long line of her collaborating with faculty.
“The students and faculty, we have this total bond,” Brukhis said. “[Political science associate professor] Dr. [Renee] Buhr was the second person I texted after I found out; that says it all. They’re like family to us. When something like this happens they’re just as pumped as us. We’re a team; we get sincerely excited about each other’s successes.”
This is the second straight year St. Thomas students have been named Fulbright Scholars: Law student Christina Espey-Sundt and senior Mitchell Sullivan, a triple major in German, international studies and political science, are studying in the Netherlands and Germany, respectively.
“We are thrilled to see St. Thomas students representing their university and the U.S. abroad through Fulbright two years in a row,” said St. Thomas Fulbright advisers Laura Bru and Judith Dorin. “This program seeks students with a strong history of leadership, scholarship, and global engagement, and I have no doubt that Valerie will be an exemplary cultural ambassador in the spirit of the Fulbright program and the mission of St. Thomas.”
Students from St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges, as well as local Northfield residents, are collaborating on a historic site-specific event to immerse audiences in theater, dance, music, and visual and digital art. The Northfield Experience will take audience members on a walking tour to several locations throughout Northfield, where the spirit of history, industry, and scholarship will come alive through the direction of award-winning Artistic Director Stephan Koplowitz.
“When asked to create a collaborative performance for the two colleges, I found the city of Northfield to be the ideal shared subject matter and location for such an event,” says Koplowitz. “It’s been an exciting journey to create The Northfield Experience in dialogue with this unique and extended community.”Students rehearse their performance at the Northfield Public Library.
As an artist, Koplowitz has produced projects throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Since 1984, he has created 91 works of art in addition to receiving Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Alpert, NEA fellowships and awards. His work aims to alter people’s perspectives of place, site, and scale, infused with a sense of the human condition, concerned with the intersection of natural, social, and cultural ecologies within urban and natural environments.
“This is an incredibly unique performance, pairing music, dance, art, and theater programs at two well-renowned colleges with the talented people who live in our community,” says St. Olaf College Professor of Dance Janice Roberts. “Stephan’s inspiration and creative vision have brought our community together. Our talented, passionate student artists have truly brought a town to life, and we can’t wait to experience it with everyone.”
“Our talented, passionate student artists have truly brought a town to life, and we can’t wait to experience it with everyone.”
This progressive venue production will feature nearly 300 performers and 30 visual artists at locations around town.
“This is a great opportunity for our students to work with a very high-caliber guest artist on a very ambitious project,” said Steve Richardson, Carleton’s Puzak Family Director of the Arts. “Working with St. Olaf and our Northfield community makes it possible to create something of this scale, and provides even more opportunity for our student-artists to work and interact with each other.”
- The Grand (with media installations by St. Olaf Assistant Professor of Art Peter Nelson and Carleton Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies Laska Jimsen, and theater performance directed by St. Olaf Associate Professor of Theater William Sonnega)
- The Depot (with an original score by St. Olaf student composer Eli Baumgartner ’18)
- The Library (with an original score by St. Olaf student composer Michael Creighton ’19)
- The Hvistendahl & Partners “Bank Building” (with visual/sound installation by composer Andrea Mazzariello and visual artist Holly Streekstra of Carleton)
- The Northfield Cemetery (finale, with original vocal score by composer and St. Olaf Professor of Music Justin Merritt, with the combined Manitou, Viking (St. Olaf side) and Carleton choruses)
In addition, a visual art exhibition, The Northfield (Exhibition) Experience, has been specifically curated in conjunction with The Northfield Experience. This exhibition will be open April 18 through May 12 in the Main Gallery of the Center for the Arts in Northfield.
The Northfield Experience is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Get a sneak peek of the project in this video:
The goals of the event, supported by 75 students and community members, were to raise awareness about extraction, consumption, and waste issues in our community and inform people about how they can combat these issues.
As a direct response to Priority 1 – Advance online learning and growth, Saint Mary’s University is launching a new online Master of Science in Cybersecurity program to start in August 2018. The program is designed to produce well-rounded cybersecurity professionals with both the business and technical expertise needed to prevent and protect against cyberattacks.
Saint Mary’s recognizes the urgent worldwide need for cybersecurity leaders. Nearly every day brings news of a cybersecurity attack, and global cybersecurity spending grew 7 percent in 2017, to $86.4 billion. In addition, the cybersecurity industry has far too few skilled professionals and a pressing demand for more.
Students will experience a curriculum designed by real-world cybersecurity professionals, including hiring managers, security executives and government officials. Students will receive a comprehensive education that provides a powerful combination of technology fundamentals, including risk management, network security and more, along with business leadership skills like communications, negotiation, and ethical decision-making. This crucial blend of skills will help graduates communicate the importance of data protection to colleagues who aren’t well-versed in cybersecurity procedures, ensure the implementation of their initiatives, and become the solution to cyberattacks.
Advancing the strategic themes of leadership development and Lasallian mission integration through co-curricular learning, 50 students participated in a retreat this past weekend on the Winona Campus. The retreat focused on learning and reflecting on the foundation and development of servant leadership. It was led by Daniel Pearson, assistant men’s basketball coach for Canada’s University of Calgary Dinos, 2018 national champions. Pearson has traveled extensively to learn about servant leadership through interactions with Jean Vanier, Canadian Catholic philosopher, theologian, humanitarian, and founder of the L’Arche community; and the Sisters of Charity, the religious community of Mother Teresa.
The Saint Peter and Teresa Leadership Clubs (SPTLC) at Saint Mary’s collaborated with Campus Ministry to present this retreat. Outgoing SPTLC officers Jacob Mencacci and Mari Morales-Lozano were student leaders in this experience which served as an intentional student leadership opportunity. Campus Ministry leaders, Athletic Advisory Council members, and SPTLC members were all present at the retreat, made possible by a grant from the M & M Flynn Charitable Gifting Fund of the Catholic Community Foundation.
Oles know how to have a good debate.
After receiving an armful of awards at the state level, the St. Olaf College Parliamentary Debate Team earned a trip this year to nationals in Nashville, Tennessee.
At the state level, St. Olaf’s team as a whole won 2nd place in both the State Tournament Debate Sweepstakes and the Limited Sweepstakes. They also picked up the Minnesota Collegiate Forensics (MCFA) Lapanta Quality Award at the Minnesota Forensics State Tournament, a difficult award to get.
Sivuse Mbingo ’21, Leander Krawinkel ’21, and Muhammad Lucman ’19 earned 1st, 4th, and 5th place, respectively, in the state competition. The three, along with Matthew Erickson ’19 and Carly Fitzgerald ’18, competed at nationals, where the teams held their own.
Krawinkel, a first-year religion and history major, says that being a member of the St. Olaf Debate Team has given him added enjoyment in classes and assignments, both in and outside of his areas of study. The fast-paced environment of Parliamentary debate, the style the team participates in, has taught him and his teammates how to effectively prepare an argument and deliver a convincing speech, a skill that proves useful even in everyday life.
“Debate really helps you to enable your skills [in school],” says Krawinkel, an international student from Switzerland. “Being that English is my second language, it helped me a lot in taking notes because the debate argument is almost structured like a classical essay.”
The team, one of the more than 200 student organizations at St. Olaf, meets twice a week for practice and competes regularly. They also find ways to engage with the campus community, such as an on-campus debate on the national opioid epidemic that they held on April 12 in collaboration with the St. Olaf Institute for Freedom and Community.
The art of debate cultivates a deeper appreciation for knowledge, Krawinkel says.
He notes that he used to hold the common belief that “debate is not really accessible, that it is the sport of the few, [or] for geniuses. I think that is very wrong. I think debate is for everyone who wants to get better in school, who wants to share knowledge, who wants to find new areas of interest.”
Watch Leander Krawinkel ’21 explain how the debate team has impacted his life:
The Bethany Lutheran College Science Department will host their annual Science Symposium on April 20, 2018. The theme and topic of this year’s symposium will cover frequency and causes of transmissible diseases, and will consist of three speakers who will each discuss their research.
Session One at 10:30 a.m.