February 2018 newsletter
Find out how two Hamline University students have opened up new opportunities through their undergrad research and how a Concordia College student is paying for his education. Then enjoy finding out about animals who have decided to adopt campuses as their own.
Spending a summer gauging water quality at Washington County lake and hypothesizing why it might be changing was an eye-opening opportunity for two Hamline University undergraduates. Included in this month’s Private College Scholars at the Capitol poster session event, the students learned a lot about themselves — as well as water degradation.
“Working with students and faculty so closely helped me learn how to communicate and how not to communicate,” said Anna Ries, junior biology major at Hamline. She was joined in the project by Michael Gilray, a senior biology major; together they worked with Leif Hembre, professor of biology.
“For me, talking in class wasn’t something I did a lot,” Gilray said. “Having opportunities to speak up and present ideas during the research project taught me a lot. It also led to other opportunities like being a lab technician and connecting to other faculty in the department.”
Their research this past summer focused on the effects rainbow trout have on water quality. “The water quality of Square Lake has decreased and the cause of this change is unknown,” Hembre said. “Since the 1980s, the DNR has been stocking rainbow trout in the lake. Our hypothesis is that the trout eat small crustaceans which feed on algae and so by introducing rainbow trout the algae levels build up.”
“Working closely with students is something I’m really passionate about,” Hembre said. “Working at a small private college we’re able to do research and make important connections with our students.”
This research has gone well enough that both Gilray and Ries have been selected for honors research projects to go deeper in certain elements of the project.
This type of research couldn’t be done without institutional backing. Part of Ries’ research was funded by an institutional grant, which included an interdisciplinary undergraduate research cohort. “In my group we had students and faculty who were from all different departments,” Ries said. “It was a great opportunity to bring issues we had to this group and see how different disciplines might resolve them. It really expanded how I thought.”
Gilray and Ries were selected to present their research at Private College Scholars at the Capitol — an event celebrating undergraduate research in Minnesota. Along with this opportunity and opportunities on campus, Ries and Gilray also have been selected to present their research at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research.
For more examples of undergraduate research check out our Scholars at the Capitol abstract booklet.
By Tom Lancaster
As Jacob Hanson, a junior at Concordia College, thought about the next steps after high school he knew he wanted to go to a private college. Hanson grew up in Blaine and took PSEO courses at the University of Minnesota. That’s when he realized he wanted to find a college that offered smaller class sizes. “I really wanted a community where I could get to know my professors,” said Hanson, “After visiting Concordia College and hearing about its pre-med program, I knew it was the right fit for me.”
When he was applying to colleges and searching for the one that was the right fit, he was also concerned about how to keep it affordable. “Cost was certainly an important factor, but I didn’t want that to hold me back from the right opportunity,” Hanson said.
Concordia’s financial aid package for his first two years included Minnesota State Grants, academic scholarships, work study and a pair of student loans. He also diligently applied for outside support and received a four-year Wallin Scholarship. And since he chose Concordia, another helpful piece of financial support fell into place: “Going into junior year I learned that I was awarded a scholarship funded by alumni,” Hanson said. “This has been a big weight off of my shoulders.”
Hanson has taken full advantage of his choice to go to a college with a tight-knit community. He is a double major in psychology and neuroscience with a focus on pre-med, but student government is his passion. He’s on the student Senate and is in the midst of a student body president campaign. Plus he is co-chair of the Minnesota Association for Private College Students — an organization focused on addressing student issues across the state. As if that's not enough to keep him busy, he also plays violin in the campus symphony and works at Prairie St. Johns mental health facility, a hospital designed to help those suffering with behavioral health and substance use disorders.
“College is the biggest achievement of my life, and I’d encourage everyone to reach out to colleges and find out how they can help you afford it,” he said. “There are so many options out there to help students with the cost of college — take advantage of them.”
By Tom Lancaster
Other paying for college profiles:
- Madi Nelson, Hamline University
- Ali Carlson, Concordia College
- Sam Figueroa, University of St. Thomas
- Chazz Robinson, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
- Tiana Danforth, St. Catherine University
- Haley Coller, Gustavus Adolphus College
- Delissa Hernandez, Augsburg University
College campuses are common stopping grounds for squirrels, but every now and then other types of animals decided to adopt campuses as their own — and not always at the behest of their human companions. We asked our colleges to share their stories, and below are four furry emissaries who have made themselves home on campus, welcoming students, staff and visitors alike with a little unconditional love.
Many alumni have fond memories of Toff, the beloved feline who was Carleton's unofficial campus cat for a dozen years before he died of cancer in 2011. Now there's a new cat on the scene, ready to assume Toff's duties of cuddling with homesick or stressed out students and just generally acting as if he owns the place.
Meet Lyman Bongo Bailey Openshaw.
A 13-year-old orange tabby, Lyman is easily identifiable by what owner and Northfield resident Leona Openshaw calls his "blithe spirit" - and the frostbite on the tips of his ears.
Wally is a crucial member of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Whether he is greeting people with a happy face, cheering people up with his contagiously positive attitude, or entertaining people while they wait, everyone loves Wally. In fact, Wally might be the most loved of his kind in the office. You could say he is definitely top dog.
This corgi's Piper pride all started in the summer of 2017 when his parent Lauren Loeffler took him on a tour of Hamline's campus. After sniffing out some great study spots and the campus dining hall, Wally fell in love with Hamline. He has since spent much of his time at the Hamline Admission Office, and even helped in their holiday celebrations.
Whether he meant to cause a stir or simply wanted to check out a book, we may never know. Regardless, after repeated attempts to enter DeWitt Wallace Library, Max the Cat has risen to internet fame.
The orange tabby, one of two cats belonging to Visiting Assistant Professor Gregory Lipton and his wife, Connie, has been a friendly face around the college since Connie adopted him from a local shelter last year. Since the couple lives nearby, Max loved to roam the campus, making occasional appearances in classrooms and even attending last year's reunion weekend. Sometime this past year, he began visiting the library, as well; but due to employee allergies (and fears he might get locked inside overnight), he was politely asked not to return.
University of St. Thomas
President Julie Sullivan's dog Bella is becoming a bit of a celebrity at St. Thomas. She spends many days in Dr. Sullivan's office in Aquinas Hall and has made some special appearances on campus. She recently was the special guest at a service activity in the St. Thomas' Create Space where students were making snuffle pads for the Animal Humane Society. She was also featured in the Tommie Give Day video (starting at 1:07) and the Tommie Give Day thank-you video.
Ever wonder how big an impact our 17 member colleges have on the state? Consider this:
- 57,500 undergraduate and graduate students attend our colleges
- 299,000 alumni live in the state
- 14,000 employees work at our colleges
Source: Minnesota Private College Council analysis of data collected from member institutions
St. Olaf brings its classes into the community
St. Olaf College's Academic Civic Engagement program gives students the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world settings through courses like this January's Engineering Design Practicum.
Carleton's Chris Anisowicz creates solar-powered summer program
Carleton College football player turns passion for learning into program that teaches others about solar energy in a fun, unique educational model.
Saint Ben's dance team records two top-10 finishes at nationals
The College of Saint Benedict finished third in Open Pom and sixth in Open Jazz at the UDA College Nationals in Orlando, Florida.
Saint John's senior John Oliver featured on FOX 9 TV
The one-handed Saint John's University basketball player plays key role on conference championship team.
Augsburg convenes conversation in applied ethics on "just sustainabilities"
Augsburg University welcomed Tufts University Professor Julian Agyeman who presented on "Just Sustainabilities in Policy, Planning, and Practice."
Works by MCAD's alums and professor reinstated on Nicollet Mall
Works by Minneapolis College of Art and Design alumni Ta-coumba Aiken and George Morrison, as well as Professor Emeritus Kinji Akagawa, have been reinstated along Nicollet Avenue upon the completion of its two-plus-year renovation.
New Bethany education programs receive state approval
Bethany Lutheran College has received formal approval from the state for a new special education major and an endorsement program for pre-primary grades.
The University of St. Thomas will host a premier national undergraduate business competition in April. The Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge will award $250,000 in cash prizes.
Hamline professors collaborate with Minneapolis neighborhood
Hamline University criminal justice professors partner with the City of Minneapolis and the Little Earth community to implement crime reduction strategies.
Danai Gurira, Macalester graduate and Black Panther star, embraces her Zimbabwean name
Gurira, a 2001 Macalester College graduate, didn't know her name was Danai until she was five years old and has penned an article for GLAMOUR on learning to embrace it.
Meet the press: Students at the big game
A trio of Concordia University, St. Paul students was treated to an experience of a lifetime by securing media credentials to the biggest game of the NFL season.
Saint Mary's University forms center for culturally responsive engagement
To help bridge the equity gaps that exist nationally throughout our schools, organizations and communities, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota has created the Center for Culturally Responsive Engagement.
Bethel announces partnership with Thrivent Financial
Bethel University students will invest over $1 million on behalf of Thrivent and individual donors through the new Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF).
Explore summer enrichment programs at our colleges
Our colleges host many programs for middle and high school students during the summer, with several offered every year. From athletic to academic, there's something to appeal to almost any student. View the 2018 offerings at the link above. (And if you don't have teens or tweens of your own, consider passing the link on to those who do!)
Job and Internship Fair scheduled for Feb. 27
Undergraduate students from our member institutions will meet and interview with employers at the Minneapolis Convention Center for the 42nd annual Minnesota Private Colleges' Job and Internship Fair, which is attended by more than 2,000 students each year.
Private College Scholars at the Capitol held
Students from 16 of our colleges presented their research on Feb. 21 with a poster session in the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda for our annual Private College Scholars at the Capitol. A booklet with abstracts of their research is available at the above link.
2018 legislative agenda released
The Council calls for increasing the size of students’ State Grant awards and the number of Minnesota families receiving the award. State Grant awards help more than 82,000 students at both public and private institutions.
Why aren't college students using career services?
The Atlantic, Jan. 20, 2018
More Minnesota students are graduating, but how many are actually ready for jobs or college?
MinnPost, Jan. 24, 2018
Business schools' new artsy edge
The Hechinger Report, Jan. 30, 2018
Understanding the way the economy, and the world, works
Minnesota Public Radio, Feb. 5, 2018
Humanities grads gainfully employed and happy
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 7, 2018
Study: DACA increased educational attainment
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 13, 2018