Saint Mary's Campus News
WINONA, Minn. — A. Eric Heukeshoven of the Saint Mary’s University Music Department has been accepted to attend Loop 2017 in Berlin, Germany from Nov. 10-12.
According to the event’s website, “Loop is three days of discussions, performances, presentations, studio sessions, installations and interactive workshops aimed at exchanging ideas at the cutting edge of music, creativity, and technology. Bringing together artists, technologists, educators and other creative thinkers, Loop is a collective exploration of what it is to make music today and what it could be tomorrow.”
Participants in this international event are selected based on a submitted portfolio of their work. Age is also considered in order to create a broad spectrum of attendees.
Heukeshoven is director of the Music Industry program at Saint Mary’s. Knowledge gained from this event will continue to allow students in the program access to cutting edge of technology and concepts.
For more information, contact Assistant Professor of Music A. Eric Heukeshoven at 507-457-7292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WINONA, Minn. — Two Saint Mary’s University music ensembles, the Flute Choir and the Clarinet Quintet, will perform two fall recitals, one at the Old Main Theatre in Galesville, Wis., and another in Figliulo Recital Hall.
The groups are part of the university’s Chamber Ensembles course, which provides students with a unique musical experience as well as a chance to perform off campus.
On Sunday, Nov. 12, they will perform at the historic Old Main Theater at 3 p.m. as part of its ongoing concert series featuring collegiate musicians from throughout the region. The same program will be repeated on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 12:30 p.m. in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the Saint Mary’s Performance Center. Repertoire ranges from the Renaissance to familiar folk music.
For details, contact chamber ensembles coordinator Dr. Janet Heukeshoven at email@example.com or 507-457-1675.
The Clarinet Quintet includes from left: Rachel Prince, Mara Schumacher, Derek Sykes, Shantel Scofield and Nicole Noreen.
Angie (Pieper) Bissen ’07 describes herself as “practical.”
When she was choosing a major, she thought about the type of career she could envision herself in, as well as what job opportunities would be available.
At the time, accounting jobs were in high demand. As she loved numbers, an accounting major seemed … practical.
Her sophomore year, she added a second major in human resources, thinking the unique pairing could be beneficial.
Currently the HR programs supervisor at Hormel Foods Corporation, Bissen’s instincts were spot-on. “Businesses need to make a profit, so being able to understand the numbers and have a grasp on general business practices is extremely important, no matter what aspect of business you’re interested in,” she said. “In human resources, you know you can’t have a good business without your employees. Having a business background gives you a better grasp on how to create a work environment that employees really want to be a part of.”
Bissen began working at Hormel 10 years ago, at first in accounting. She switched to HR at Hormel’s corporate headquarters because of her desire to work with people and not just numbers. “I like waking up every day knowing that the work I’m doing is making a difference in our employees’ lives.”
In her position, Bissen oversees affirmative action and hiring policies; directs relocation programs; administers policies and communicates those policies; and provides coaching opportunities to employees looking to improve their performance. She also helps managers work through performance issues and oversees internal job postings called career connection.
In varying aspects of her position, Bissen said she frequently refers back to what she learned in her courses at Saint Mary’s.
“Even to this day, 10 years after graduation, I still reference exercises, experiences, and examples professors used in class. That speaks to the practicality of the content we had at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “My professors had real-world experience, and they were able to apply their knowledge of the business world to what they were teaching in the textbook—making the information interesting and relevant.”
She’s also thankful for the experiences that group activities provided. “We were forced to think critically and examine all sides of an issue,” she said. “Having that ability helps in ethical decision making. You’re not looking at it from your perspective only, but you learn to think about what’s best for the greater good.”
Bissen said one of the most valuable business classroom experiences was her strategies class, in which she and her team had to apply interdisciplinary skills, as well as accounting, management, and operations skills to a case study that they then presented to business leaders and professors. “It was pretty high-stress and intense, but it was very much like the real world,” she said.
Beyond business, Bissen said her overall liberal arts degree helped prepare her for life after college. “Having an understanding of a variety of academic disciplines gives you a deeper level of understanding to every problem you are presented with,” she said. “It gives you a solid foundation for decision making.”
Bissen is also thankful for internship opportunities she had at Hormel for two summers, as well as an independent study through which she prepared taxes with senior citizens in Winona, both of which provided valuable learning experiences.
She advises students to take advantage of every growth opportunity, including extracurricular activities. “As I look back, it is surprising how much they helped me develop leadership skills and build relationships,” she said. “I served on the Student Senate, as the head of finance. We went through budgets and decided what groups got what money, so it was a very real-world practical experience in a safe environment. The leadership skills it taught me gave me a leg up in the real world.”
After a successful professional soccer career, Tony Sanneh parlayed his passion, resources, and name recognition into creating a Twin Cities-based foundation that offers youth in-school and after-school support, provides programs that strengthen physical health and social and emotional development, and unites communities by advancing diversity, equity, and community well-being.
On Oct. 30, Sanneh visited Saint Mary’s Winona Campus to meet with education and First Generation Initiative students about using education to make a difference in individuals and communities.
Also during his visit, Sanneh gave a public presentation as part of Saint Mary’s Leadership Interchange Series sponsored by the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership. He spoke to students and faculty about servant leadership, how to leverage “what you have” to help others, and how to start and run a foundation.
In a few short years, the Sanneh Foundation has grown to sponsor a variety of community youth programs in Minnesota and Haiti. One program, Dreamline Corps, combines education support with after-school soccer and other enrichment programs. Dreamline coaches work with youth in junior and senior high schools in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, and Rochester.
The Saint Mary’s Graduate School of Education is partnering with the Sanneh Foundation to provide licensure pathways for Dreamline coaches in the areas of special education and English as a Second Language.
Photo caption: Tony Sanneh, center, was joined by Dr. Joe Tadie, associate professor of philosophy, and Jamison Rusthoven, leadership program coordinator and men’s basketball coach, during a talk about education, leadership, and community service.
As a test engineer with Medtronic, Nick Nagel ’14 is saving lives by testing medical devices before they ever come in contact with patients.
For Nagel, every test, every data point, is crucial. “Testing helps us better understand why something performs as it was intended to, or may fail or stop working,” he said. “My job has a direct affect on patients, so the device needs to work the way it’s supposed to work every time.”
For example, the Andover, Minn., native is currently testing ablation catheters, which doctors use on patients to interrupt unwanted electrical pathways in the heart.
“My primary role is to design test methods on requirements for our products,” he said. “Most of the tests I design are used in a laboratory setting so that requirements can be accurately measured.”
Although his work now can affect therapies for patients, Nagel finds a direct correlation between his current work and the tests he originally ran as a physics—life sciences major at Saint Mary’s.
“My professors, Dr. Damien Cho and Dr. Robyn Wangberg, would ask me to conduct a test by writing a method and showing the results,” he said. “I do that now on a weekly basis in a lab at Medtronic. My undergraduate work absolutely prepared me well for my career.”
Nagel minored in math and chemistry. In one of his favorite classes, analytical chemistry, Dr. Nathan Lien, his professor, taught him methods of titration, which is also very useful in his current line of work. “Most of my math classes also really paid off,” he said. “And the teachers were amazing; it helps when you can talk to them at any point.
“The classes I took for physics, math and chemistry prepared me very well. That’s the simple answer,” he reiterated. “But it was the curriculum itself that shaped how I think. Medtronic is looking for new and bold ideas that lead to innovative solutions for patients. The curriculum at Saint Mary’s stimulated my thinking process.”
Now working in a team environment, Nagel also knows the benefits of working together from his days on the Cardinal hockey team from 2010-2014.
Nagel is currently enrolled in part-time classes in the M.S. in Mechanical Engineering program at the University of St. Thomas and will earn his graduate degree in January 2018.
“Soon I will have four years of professional experience and a master’s degree, so that will open doors,” he said. But Nagel doesn’t plan to change employers any time soon. “I absolutely love it here and plan on sticking with it for a long time. I may someday make a move into a new position with Medtronic and I’m confident I’m on the right path so far.”
WINONA, Minn. — The Page Series at Saint Mary’s presents Ballet Memphis, Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the Page Theatre. A pre-performance talk will be offered at 6:45 p.m.
Ballet Memphis has been recognized for its close ties to the region’s rich musical and literary heritage through dance, production, and training. The company partners with artists from around the globe for collaborative and original works, and has been lauded by the Ford Foundation as a “national treasure.”
The evening’s program includes two works from the company’s River Project, which celebrates scenes and cultural traditions surrounding the Mississippi River as well as an original work premiered by Ballet Memphis dancer Julie Marie Niekrasz.
Niekrasz created “Sa Voix” to show the drama of ballet’s Romantic Era in the 1800s and how costumes and movement perpetuated the idea of female dancers as ethereal and often frail. The piece uses female dancers employing great power and emotion to take one small step to liberating those who have been suppressed, even in art.
Matthew Neenan’s “The Darting Eyes” is inspired by old photographs of river baptisms along the Mississippi Delta and incorporates elements of the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues in an evocative work brimming with aspects of pain and redemption. Ballet Memphis Associate Artistic Director Steven McMahon’s “Confluence” is about creating a home somewhere, and the physical and emotional journeys one takes in that process. These two River Project works also include nods to the region’s musical culture, and are set to songs ranging from Allison Krauss’s “Down to the River to Pray” from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” to Mahalia Jackson’s “In the Upper Room.”
A Page in History
In celebration of our shared connection to the mighty Mississippi, the Page Series will offer a free lunchtime program, “Winona and the Mighty Mississippi,” Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 12:05 p.m. at the Winona County History Center (160 Johnson St.). This Page in History—Food For Thought program, featuring Aaron Repinski of Winona Tour Boat, explores the Upper Mississippi region and how the river has influenced Winona’s storied past.
Ballet Memphis Master Class
The Page Series will offer a free master class for experienced dancers ages 13 and up Friday, Nov. 17, from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Valéncia Arts Center (1164 W. Howard St.). Experience en pointe is preferred but not required. The class is currently full, but dancers can be added to the wait list by registering at www.pagetheatre.org.
Tickets to the performance are $30 for adults and $27 for students and senior citizens. Tickets and additional information are available at pagetheatre.org or by calling 507-457-1715 (noon-6 p.m., weekdays).
About Ballet Memphis
Ballet Memphis is now in its 31st season and is recognized for its close ties to the region’s rich musical and literary heritage through dance, production, and training, including its lauded Memphis Project works, its River Project series, and its current Places works. Ballet Memphis has staff and facilities of the highest caliber, and partners with artists from around the globe for collaborative and original works. The company has received grants and high praise from other foundations and national media alike, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Dance Project, the New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Dance magazine, Pointe magazine and others. It has performed to excellent reviews at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., at the Joyce Theater and the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse in New York City, at Houston’s Dance Salad, at the Festival des Arts de Saint-Saveur (Canada), and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts, among others.
WINONA, Minn. — The artwork of Kathy Kovala, watercolor artist, and her students will be displayed in Galleria Valéncia at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, 1164 W. Howard Street. The exhibit will run Nov. 3-30. Student artists who will be featured include: Marci Fischer (Lewiston), Leslie Scarboro (Winona), Mary Mueller (Utica), Sharon Byerstedt (Winona), Bev Gurgle (Winona), Ginny Motl (Winona), Carol Garman (Winona), and Faye Leach (Winona).
The paintings are a result of one to four years of learning and include a wide variety of subjects, abilities, and techniques. In addition to learning painting techniques, students also learned how to frame, mat, and hang their artwork for this exhibition. Some artwork will even be for sale by contacting the artist.
The community is invited to an open house on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come and view the artwork, enjoy refreshments, and watch students paint. The open house will coincide with the WinonaArt Walk hosted by the River Arts Alliance.
WINONA, Minn. — Interested in finding out how the MidWest Music Fest got started? Ever wonder how a Shakespeare festival ended up in Winona? Is the Minnesota Marine Art Museum going to expand? Hear how the arts are drawing crowds, visibility, and revenue to the Winona area on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Arts and Entrepreneurship Panel Discussion, hosted by Saint Mary’s University’s Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.
Saint Mary’s is pleased to host a diverse and exciting group of speakers at this event, which is designed to create a discussion and celebration of the arts in Southeastern Minnesota. Hear from the directors of the Great River Shakespeare Festival, the MidWest Music Fest, the Beethoven Festival, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, and the Rochester Repertory Theater. Bringing together the directors of such popular events and venues will surely spark great dialog on the role of the arts in our economy!
Other leaders from the arts community like Sheila Smith, executive director of the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and chair of Creative Minnesota; and Lee Gundersheimer, the City of Winona’s arts and culture organizer, will help provide an economic and political perspective regarding the future of the arts in Minnesota. Come and find out what goes into making these events successful and how they came to be held here in our area.
Please plan to join us for this event—open to the public—at 7 p.m. in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in Saint Mary’s Performance Center.
WINONA, Minn. — A. Eric Heukeshoven will present an “informance” at the La Crosse New Music Festival 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Annette Recital Hall at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Heukeshoven, of the Saint Mary’s University Music Department, will combine an improvised performance with a discussion of new tools such as the Roli Seaboard Rise keyboard, Equator synthesizer, and Boss RC-505 Loop Station to demonstrate the wide range of expression this new technology offers to musicians.
Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression–or MPE–is a method of using MIDI which enables multidimensional instruments like the Roli Seaboard Rise to control multiple parameters of every note within MPE-compatible software.
This extraordinary new level of sophistication allows musicians to control pitch, timbre, and other nuances within each note. The working group creating the MPE specifications began at the winter NAMM show in 2015.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Heukeshoven at 507-457-7292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rowan Flynn remembers the moment when he could first picture his future.
One fall afternoon, after listening to an energetic lecture from Michael Ratajczyk, Flynn changed from an “undecided” major to a finance and business intelligence and analytics double major. Since then, he’s been honing his skills to be a game-changer in the healthcare business sector after graduating this spring.
When Flynn arrived at Saint Mary’s in 2014, from Wausau, Wis., he confidently began his studies in another direction—biology—but after taking a couple of labs, he soon discovered that it just didn’t feel like the right fit.
“Over the next three semesters I dipped my feet in the water of multiple departments,” he said. “I gradually began losing confidence that there was a ‘right’ major for me and my skills and interests.”
Flynn said he was gravitating toward business classes, when Ratajczyk opened the doors to a whole new career opportunity.
“In a few short minutes he transformed the business intelligence and analytics field from simply a major I saw listed in the Business Department brochure to a major filled with doors of new opportunity, accompanied with an array of potential career path options,” Flynn said.
Flynn said it’s the hands-on aspect—and the potential to be a “game-changer” for an industry—that attracted him the most, even more than the knowledge that business intelligence analyists are in high demand.
“I love the hands-on approach of playing around with the data, and I won’t relax until it’s perfect,” he said. “It’s an iterative process, as it is constantly shifting and evolving. It’s a lot of trial, error, and reasoning. It’s all about asking, ‘What can I do with this data, and what can I take from it?’ The more I put into it, the more rewarding it is.”
Flynn has appreciated the practical opportunities Saint Mary’s has provided him. Last year, for example, Ratajczyk brought in alumni professionals, as well as Fastenal administrators, to listen to student teams present on the topic of freight analysis.
“Saint Mary’s has blessed me with an endless amount of opportunity to jump into the field of data analytics and really prepare myself for the outside world,” he said. These skills came in handy over the summer when Flynn interned at Church Mutual Insurance in Merrill, Wis. “They were very impressed about how I tackled projects and how quickly I could go through the steps and put information together for a presentation,” he said.
“I’m excited about having the capability to be a ‘game-changer’ in an industry with a combination of persistence, innovation, and creativity,” he added. “As a business analyst I can take something many people have overlooked—raw data—and build it into something beneficial and influential to decision-makers. Professor Ratajczyk constantly emphasizes that I should combine my love for the work involved in the field with my determination to find solutions.”
Because of his passion, as well as his community engagement, Flynn (who will also serve as a Mayo Innovation Scholar this year) was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from MinneAnalytics, a nonprofit organization with more than 10,000 members dedicated to serving Minnesota’s data science and analytics community.
“It’s a nice boost financially—but just knowing that people are recognizing my work means a lot to me, and encourages me to keep going. It gives my work more meaning,” he said.
Flynn’s dream is to work in the business intelligence field in healthcare and eventually move into a consulting firm, perhaps one day his own. “I want to help people make a big impact, with nonprofits as my focus,” he said. “With healthcare, ultimately human lives are at stake. It’s about helping healthcare organizations minimize the cost for patients and provide optimal care. Being able to make a difference to impact peoples’ lives is huge for me. It’s not just about profit.”
Flynn can now say with confidence that he has found the right field. “Data analytics is a field of great importance and growth for businesses around the world and I am honored to have the opportunity to dive in and make a difference with every chance I get,” he said. “Catalyzed by the emergence of big data and the use of innovation and effective data analytics, I believe individuals and companies can reach great heights … and I hope to play a part in making sure that happens.”