Friday, August 31, 2007

SMU to host speaker on PATRIOT Act Sept. 18

George Christian

A Connecticut librarian who is one of only four people in the nation who can legally discuss a gag order imposed as part of a USA PATRIOT Act investigation will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Saint Mary’s. The event — free and open to the public — will be held in Figliulo Recital Hall.

George Christian was party to a lawsuit that successfully challenged the gag order provision of the National Security Letter (NSL) statute. The NSL is part of the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism). In 2005, Christian was served by the FBI with an NSL demanding that he turn over records concerning library patrons’ use of computers, the Internet and e-mail.

“The idea that the government can secretly investigate what the public is informing itself about is chilling,” Christian says.

Christian and three colleagues are the only four people who can even mention they have been served with an NSL. Christian said the recipients of an estimated 270,000 other NSLs issued since 9-11 “are under a perpetual gag order and must therefore carry the secret of their encounter with them to their graves.”

The group has been featured in Washington Post and New York Times news stories, the Public Broadcasting System’s NOW program, the American Civil Liberties Union website, and other media outlets.

Christian’s appearance is being held in conjunction with events for Constitution Day, which was instituted by the Bill of Rights Institute to “educate young people about the words and ideas of America’s Founders, the liberties guaranteed in our founding documents, and how our founding principles continue to affect and shape a free society.” For more information, contact Dr. Steven Schild, Ext. 1753.

Arts board grants funds for Page Series

The Minnesota State Arts Board granted $12,206 to the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Performance Center in support of the 2007-2008 Page Performance Series. This generous funding will allow the Page Series to continue to realize its goals of presenting a diverse array of artistic genres and disciplines, world cultures and educational activities with professional artists.

SMU receives ‘Best in Midwest’ honors

Saint Mary’s is one of 161 schools receiving the “Best in the Midwest” designation for 2008 from the Princeton Review, a national college guide and ranking program. Results were announced in August.

Each year, the Princeton Review profiles colleges and universities that “uphold the standards of the Best Midwestern College distinction and provide students with a wide breadth of excellent schools to consider.” The survey of 120,000 students at 366 colleges rated the schools on “everything from profs to financial aid,” according to the Princeton Review, a New York City-based company known for test-preparation courses, education services and books. It is not affiliated with Princeton University.

For more information, go to The website gives a profile of Saint Mary's, along with student opinions and useful college selection features.

SMU changes U.S. News categories

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in a new category in its “America’s Best Colleges” survey for 2008. The annual listing of more than 1,400 schools is available online at Rankings were announced Aug. 17.

Saint Mary’s is ranked in the third tier of the U.S. News “National Universities” category. The third tier includes schools ranked 131 through 187 — of 262 total — and is not ranked numerically. Saint Mary’s, St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota are the only Minnesota schools represented in this category.

U.S. News & World Report ranked “National Universities” in a top tier, third tier and fourth tier. Its other institutional categories include: “Liberal Arts Colleges,” “Universities-Master’s” and “Baccalaureate Colleges.”

This year SMU was grouped in the “National Universities” category by U.S. News & World Report, due to reclassification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Carnegie Foundation reclassified SMU from a “master’s comprehensive” to a “doctoral institution.” This change reflects the rising number of doctoral degrees given by Saint Mary’s through its Ed.D. in Leadership program. In previous years, SMU was in the first tier of U.S. News’ “Midwestern Colleges and Universities with Master Degree Programs” category. Last year, SMU was ranked 31st in the top tier of this category.

The “National Universities” category includes 262 American universities (164 public and 98 private) that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees.

Admission forum scheduled for Sept. 10

All faculty and staff are invited to an open Admission Forum Monday, Sept. 10. There will be two similar sessions that day. The first session will begin at 12:15 p.m. and end at 1 p.m.; the second session will begin at 4 p.m. and end at 4:45 p.m. Both sessions will take place in the President’s Room. Coffee, tea, and cookies will be served. Guests may bring their lunch to the 12:15 p.m. forum.

Tony Piscitiello, vice president for admission and Karen Sullivan, director for admission, will discuss the past year-in-review, plans and goals for 2008, and unveil the new recruitment DVD. Time will be allotted for questions and comments.

While no RSVP is required, if you plan to attend please contact the Office of Admission (Ext. 1700 or if you plan to attend so the right amount of refreshments can be ordered.

First Page Series event, Pavlo, hits stage Sept. 14

Pavlo, the first Page Series event, will perform Sept. 14.

The first Page Series event, Pavlo, will hit the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, in Page Theatre.

Pavlo’s unique sound and high-energy concerts have earned him an international reputation as one of today’s great performers. Through guitars, drums and vocals, Pavlo expresses his influences — flamenco, Latin, classical, Greek bouzouki — with a passion that is present in every note. Participants will see why the enthusiasm is contagious during this concert, called “the ultimate Mediterranean experience.”

Tickets are $20, $14 for seniors or $12 for students and are available online at, in person, or by calling the Performance Center box office at Ext. 1715 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Saint Teresa Institute open house is Sept. 6

The Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute for Women will host its fall open house from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6, in its new location, Watters Hall. All are invited to stop by to learn about the Institute, visit with current members, meet the director, Holly Ríchard, and “eat your cake too.”

Today is first First Friday open house in game room

As is tradition, Campus Ministry will sponsor “First Fridays” again this year. First Fridays are opportunities for faculty and staff to gather for a continental breakfast while taking a well-deserved break from the office. It also offers employees a chance to get to know co-workers from other areas of campus or simply a chance to catch up with those we seldom see.

Typically, First Friday is held on the first Friday of each month. However, to mark the first week of classes Campus Ministry will be sponsor a First Friday today, Aug. 31, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. in the game room of the Toner Student Center.

If you have not visited the new offices for Campus Ministry and Student Development, this would be a great time to do so. The Campus Ministry office is located across from the game room and Student Development is just down the hall. Stop by to see the new spaces and some new faces.

SMU exhibit features diverse art through Oct. 5

Winona artist Monta May displays “Communion Circle: 1-10,” part of the dual show with Carol Faber, “Interstices” and “Images of Nature,” on display through Oct. 5 at Saint Mary’s University.

A variety of unique artwork — including a ceremonial robe, gourds, sculpture, photography, encaustic painting, charcoal drawings, and digital fine art prints — are currently on display at Saint Mary’s University’s Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

Artists Monta May, director of web communication at Saint Mary’s, and Carol Faber, assistant professor of art and design at Iowa State University, are displaying their work through Oct. 5.

In “Interstices,” May displays encaustic paintings, an ancient art form involving pigment, wax, and heat. Her eye-catching grouping of 5- to 7-foot sculptures titled “Communion Circle: 1-10” meets viewers at the exhibit’s entrance.

May works with materials of all kinds — fabrics, metals, found objects, photographs, beeswax, dyes, inks, wood, clay, glass and paper — to create sculptures, tapestries, garment- and jewelry-inspired artwork. Her goal is to blur the line between art and craft, question the status quo, and build a connection between the ancient and the contemporary. May believes her experiences and involvements lead to fabric for her artwork. She finds rich material for art in diverse areas.

In “Images of Nature,” Faber presents large, bold pieces demonstrating how she uses the computer as an artistic tool of expression. She considers her work emotional responses to events and memories from specific parts of her life, making her artwork a kind of autobiographical record. Faber’s images are inspired by the accidental death of a horse she once owned named Ruby. The colorful, abstract designs depict Ruby’s death and Faber’s perception of the beauty her life gave back to nature.

The exhibit — free and open to the public — is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, call Ext. 1652.

School of the Arts reception, art auction is Sept. 6

The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Friends of the School of the Arts cordially invites all faculty and staff to a wine and cheese reception on Thursday, Sept. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries, featuring works by Monta May,M.F.A., Communication and Marketing. A silent auction of works by the artist will kick off at the reception with proceeds to benefit the Friends of the School of the Arts. Please RSVP to Sherry Boynton at Ext. 6647.

Benefit concert for flood relief is Sept. 7

Saint Mary’s Volunteer Services and Office of Campus Ministry are planning a benefit concert, Rockin’ for Relief, 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, in the plaza.

Proceeds will assist victims of flood damage in our surrounding communities. The public is welcome.

Performing will be Bookreader, an SMU student band; SMU’s Adam Stasica; Winonan Mike Munson; and Monday Saga, a band from Milwaukee in which SMU alum Brandon Mathieus performs. Barbecued food will be served, and kids games will be provided. Many big-ticket items, including a Wenonah Canoe, are being donated for a live auction.

Admission will be $10 or $5 for students. A freewill donation will be asked for those younger than 12. Families will be admitted for $10 per adult and freewill donations for children.

The concert will serve as a kickoff for an SMU volunteer weekend of service to flood victims. For more information, contact Katie LaPlant at Ext. 6936.

Flood assistance events

Several groups have already volunteered with cleanup efforts in the area. Katie LaPlant will continue to coordinate ongoing volunteer opportunities from cleanup to rebuilding efforts. The need for assistance is still great. A new volunteer form has been set up at After you have completed the form, LaPlant will be in contact with you.

Any other questions or comments can be addressed to her at or Ext. 6936. Anyone in the SMU community in need of volunteer assistance, is also encouraged to contact LaPlant.

The school year’s Let’s Do Lunch proceeds have been reallocated to help faculty and staff who have lost their homes or had significant damage. The first Let’s Do Lunch, hosted by the Department of Athletics and Student Development, will be held Sept. 25.

Additionally, the Jeans for a Cause proceeds will be directed to this fund. We’re also adding another Friday! You are encouraged to participate in Jeans for a Cause on the first and third Fridays of each month. Don’t forget to turn in a minimum $5 donation to Student Services and get your sticker to participate.

Laurie Hale Erdmann is compiling a list of those SMU employees who have suffered major damage; so far we know of at least nine faculty and staff who may have lost their homes, and several others who have experienced water damage. Please call Ext. 1464 or e-mail if you, or someone in your department, has been impacted. The Volunteer Committee has formed a subcommittee to designate funds to these families.

Funds — or gift cards — designated for SMU faculty and staff can continue to be turned in at Student Services. The donations so far have been generous. Please continue to keep funds flowing as there are so many within our SMU family who so desperately could use our help.

Please continue to use WinBulletin to report your needs as well as to donate materials. Specific information (like sizes for clothing or shoes) is helpful.

A benefit for SMU faculty and staff flood victims is being organized. A portion of the event will include a silent auction. If you would like to donate baskets, items or services, contact Deb Nahrgang at Ext. 6966 or Look for more details about this campuswide fundraiser in the next couple of weeks.

Conservatory registration open house is Sept. 6

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts semester I registration open house will be held 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at the corner of 10th and Vila streets.

Registration for semester I classes, beginning Sept. 10, will be accepted at the open house. Tours of the facility will be available, refreshments will be served, and students will have the opportunity to meet new and returning faculty and staff. Additionally, students can be fitted for all their dance attire needs at the open house. MCA’s dance attire boutique offers quality basics including leotards, tights, ballet slippers, jazz shoes and tap shoes.

Class offerings are available for anyone age 4 through adult and include beginning through advanced levels in classical ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop, Pilates, and a special tuition-free boys program which offers a Dance Technique for Boys class. Semester I also provides programming for teens and adults in partnership with Winona County Community Education including Clogging I, Clogging II, Dance Fitness and Piyo.

Academic credit is available through Cotter High School and Saint Mary’s for a variety of MCA classes.

Semester I classes will provide 10 weeks of instruction, concluding with a demonstration week, Nov. 12-17. Tuition for MCA classes varies depending on course length and level. Discounts and scholarships are available.

In addition to participation in classes, students ages 5 to 12 are invited to audition for MCA’s youth performing troupe, The Dance Repertory Company II. The DRC II will present a winter showcase, with performances held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Valéncia Arts Center Academy Theatre. High school and college-age students who participate in the MCA Choreography and Improvisation class will have the opportunity to create and show their works in this winter showcase as well.

For more information about MCA’s open house, classes, or future performances, visit, e-mail or call Ext. 5501.

Conservatory wraps up successful summer

Ten of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts Boys Program students enjoyed workshops with visiting Guest Artists Allen Fields and Tony Smith, July 23–26 at the Valéncia Arts Center. Pictured are, from left: back, Tony Smith, Jack Bryant, Keegan Eide, Zach Ruben, Chris Bernard, Orion McCullough-Smith, Allen Fields; front, Mac Whaley, Alec Meinke, Kyle Schneider, Hayden Meinke and Jeremiah Munson.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts concluded a successful summer of programming for youth and adults.

MCA served 145 students this summer with dance and theatre programming. Programs included three week-long day camps (Dance Me a Story, Dance the Day Away, and Pied Piper Theatre Camp), adult and specialty boys workshops, and a three-week boarding intensive for intermediate and advanced students.

Theatre students had the opportunity to study with MCA faculty, as well as professional actors from Gilmore Creek Summer Theatre and Missoula Children’s Theatre. Dance students had the opportunity to study with MCA faculty, as well as visiting guest artists from around the country. Guest artists included Deborah Elias, Allen Fields, Stephanie Milling-Robbins, Tammy Schmidt Perry and Tony Smith.

In addition to many local students participating in MCA summer programming, the MCA Summer Intensive attracted students from as far away as Mexico and Bulgaria. This summer MCA had another record-breaking summer boys program enrollment as well.

SMU students to perform, study in London first semester

Saint Mary’s University students are studying theatre in London, England, this semester. Rehearsing a scene from “The Shadow Box,” to be performed Oct. 17-20 in London, are Whitney Rappana, left, and Marty Walters.

Rachel Crawford-Miller, Alex Gorgone and Michael Fye will perform in “The Shadow Box,” to be staged Oct. 17-20 in London. In addition to their coursework, SMU students studying in London this semester will also attend numerous productions in London.

Saint Mary’s theatre majors will stage “The Shadow Box,” an emotional — and sometimes amusing — reflection about life and death Oct. 17-20 at London’s New Wimbledon Studio.

Qualified theatre majors at Saint Mary’s are studying theatre in London, England, this semester through the Stefannié Valéncia Kierlin Theatre in London Program. Under the guidance of Saint Mary’s faculty, the program will include a variety of classes in theatre, as well as courses focusing on broader enrichment. Students will also have the unique opportunity to attend numerous performances at London’s West End, Off-West End, and Fringe theatres.

“The Shadow Box,” written by Michael Cristofer, dramatizes the final days of three terminal cancer patients who dwell in separate cottages on a hospital’s grounds. The 1977 Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play explores their anxieties, as well as their acceptance of the finality of their condition, the inevitable and imminent end of their lives. Family and close friends who visit these patients add some heartrending — as well as humorous — situations.

Participating are: director, Dr. Gary Diomandes; assistant director, Sarah St. Laurent; stage manager, Erica Prond; and lighting designer, Roger Frith. Performers include: Alex Gorgone (Joe), Rachel Crawford-Miller (Maggie), Michael Fye (Steve), Mark Skrade (Brian), JM Montecalvo (Mark), Alyssa Schlageter (Beverly), Martha Walters (Felicity), Whitney Rappana (Agnes), and Diana Connolly (Interviewer).

SMU student receives Ipod Nano in Tegrity survey

Chad Kjorlien, director of Instructional Technology, presents an Ipod Nano to SMU student Matthew Pierskalla. Pierskalla won the Ipod in a drawing from Tegrity for filling out a survey.

SMU student Matthew Pierskalla was presented with an Ipod Nano for completing a Tegrity survey. Sixty students from SMU participated in Tegrity’s survey, and another survey — and giveaway — are planned for the end of fall semester.

Goodview Gallop team places fourth

Congratulations to the SMU Goodview Gallop Team for placing 4th out of 20 teams at the 28th Annual Goodview Gallop 5K Run/Walk benefiting the American Cancer Society. A big congratulations goes to Sandy Beth who received an award for finishing third in her age group.

The following people participated: Bob Fisher, Cindy Kronebusch, Dan Bucknam, Elissa Grabarski, Jackie Killian, Jim Vogel, John Paulson, Karen Hemker, Katrina Klink, Lisa Thorsell, Mandy Pearson, Vicki McDonald, Nicholas Hall and Sandy Beth.

A big thank you goes to Saint Mary’s for sponsoring our team again this year by paying half of our registration fees. Come join the team next year, the third weekend in August, for the 29th Annual Goodview Gallop!

Brother Louis addresses Ethics Conference

Brother Chancellor Louis DeThomasis, FSC, Ph.D., presented “Doing it Right in a Shrinking World: The Balance of Ethics and Profit” at the 2007 Ethics Conference.

The conference, presented by the Foundation for Accounting Education, was held Tuesday, July 31, in New York. Conference topics explored the world of business ethics, where religion, ethical codes and historical perspectives are challenged.

Brother Louis addressed the relationship of global dynamics in financial networks, the role of business in “doing good,” and the question of “Who should do ethics: businesses or the people”? He also discussed the importance of imagination and the role of faith as they relate to doing ethics in today’s rapidly changing and pluralistic economy.

Fox completes term on Mission and Ministry Council

Mary Catherine Fox, Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Studies, completed her second term as chairman of the Mission and Ministry Council for the Midwest District of the Brothers of the Christian Schools at the June 2007 meeting at the provincialate offices in Burr Ridge, Ill. Fox was named by Brother Visitor Frank Carr to the Midwest Chapter planning committee and co-chaired the committee with Brother James Gaffney, president of Lewis University in Romeoville. Fox also chaired the preparatory group on new structures for mission.

Together with Brother Chancellor Louis DeThomasis, Judith K. Schaefer, OP, Ph.D., and Ann Merchelwitz of the Saint Mary’s University Community she presented the group’s proposals at the Midwest District Convocation at Lewis University in July. The Convocation was a prelude to the next legislative district chapter which will be convened in April 2008.

Towers authors ‘No-Brainers’ education book

Dr. Jim Towers, Education Department, has published a book titled, “Twenty ‘No-Brainers’ for Reforming Education in America.” The book, published by MillCity Press, is available in the SMU Bookstore and will be available on later this fall.

In his book, Towers gives a thought-provoking, straight-forward and uncamouflaged look at educational reform. The no-nonsense approach discusses what must be done now to salvage the American educational system. The book is aimed at teachers, administrators, parents, legislators, school boards and all concerned citizens looking to rejuvenate American education. “The reader may not always agree, but is guaranteed never to be bored,” Towers says.

Rodgers interviewed on Radio City Network News

Dr. Jim Rodgers, Social Science, did a taped radio interview on terrorism with Curtis Beckmann of Radio City Network News for the public affairs program “Minnesota This Week” July 13 at the Woodbridge Cooperative Community in New Hope. The program was available for stations to download with primary airing on Sunday, July 29.

McColl to serve as juror, will feature portraits in exhibition

Rob McColl, Art and Design Department, will be a juror for the fine arts exhibition at the Dassel Area Universal Lab Museum in Dassel, Minn., where he will also feature a mini-retrospective of eight portraits of local individuals he created while living in the Dassel area in 1987. The exhibition will run Saturday through Monday, Sept. 1-3.

Congratulations to McCormick family

Karen McCormick(Science Center) and Dan, had a daughter, Alivia Christine, on Monday, Aug. 20. The Saint Mary’s community extends its congratulations to the McCormick family.