Thursday, October 25, 2007

Japanese events on campus

Winona welcomed a delegation from Misato (Winona’s sister city in Japan) this weekend. Saint Mary’s hosted several events including Shodo, the art of drawing unique characters; Ikebana, art formed with flowers; Kimono, a traditional Japanese dress; and Sado, a tea ceremony.

An audience that nearly filled Page Theatre watched Japanese dancers and Taiko drummers Saturday evening.

Benefit for SMU faculty, staff flood victims set for Oct. 28

A fun-filled evening of music, food and festive bidding that will raise money for the SMU faculty and staff who have suffered severe damage due to the August flood is planned for Sunday evening. Several of our own SMU community members have lost their homes and many — if not all — of their personal belongings. Come and support them!

The event, “A Recipe for Relief,” will be held 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, in the dining room. All faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the university are invited to attend. Admission will be $25 or $15 for students.

Several celebrity SMU “chefs” will be preparing a huge variety of tasty hors d’oeuvres. The master chef himself, Brother Chancellor Louis DeThomasis, will give out a special recipe — as well as a live (and lively!) demonstration of how to prepare it.

Beer, wine, pop and water have been graciously donated. A special Polish beer tasting will be offered as well.

Come and enjoy music by our own talented musicians. SMU student jazz combos will be joined by Eric Heukeshoven and Dr. John Paulson. Additionally, Chris Kendall will perform folk music. A silent auction will complete the evening.

Some auction items donated so far include homemade jewelry, a guided canoe trip, a dinner from Gary Diomandes, a ticket basket from the SMU box office, a large Santa basket, a Starbucks coffee basket, certificates for fresh- baked cinnamon rolls, a personal perennial garden at your home and much more!

Babysitting services will be provided at your home; contact Katie LaPlant for more information. For tickets, go to the Student Services window or contact LaPlant.

SMU community members share flood stories

This is the seventh and final story about SMU faculty and staff who have suffered major losses because of recent flooding. We hope that these stories bring to light how many people, in how many areas, were deeply affected. Please continue to keep everyone who is fighting to put their lives back together in your prayers.

• • • • • • • • • • •

David and Joyce McConville of Minnesota City, along with their daughter Kelly, suffered major damage in the bottom half of their split-level home.

Though cleanup efforts are finished, the McConvilles have yet to begin reconstruction.

Dr. Dave McConville said it isn’t easy to watch your home and your belongings set out at the curb and carried away.

Dr. Dave McConville
Professor of biology
Director of M.S.
in Geographic Information Science

Dr. Dave McConville is no stranger to water or to the river. As a career biologist and river researcher, he’s navigated his boat through all kinds of high-level waters.

But, he said, he’s never seen a more treacherous current than the morning of Aug. 19, when floodwater surrounded his Minnesota City home.

Dave and his wife, Joyce, have lived at 289 Harry’s Lane since 1975. “It took a thousand year flood to bring us down,” he said.

The McConvilles’ home — which they share with their teenage daughter Kelly — is located at the highest level in the area, and Dave estimates it was one of the last to be affected by the flood.

The McConvilles hadn’t known it was flooding when they were awakened at 4:30 a.m. by a neighbor telling them they had better get out of their home.

“You are awakened from a dead sleep, and it’s like, ‘What? What did you say?’” Dave said.

Upon first inspection, the lower area of their split-level home looked fine. But outside, through the darkness, they noticed the high waters encroaching on their home.

Dave walked down the hill from their home to get his boat. By this time, he said, water was waist deep, and both his boat and trailer were trying to float.

In the time it took him to unhook the boat and drag it closer to the house, water on his lower level was rising as the septic overflowed.

“There was a 2-foot geyser out of the toilet on the bottom level,” he said.

Joyce thought to rescue Dave’s laptop, but, he said, that is all that was rescued at that point.

Outside Dave could hear his neighbors calling for help. He and a neighbor navigated the boat “right down the middle of the street” and helped what Dave estimates are more than 20 people who were hanging out of their windows or stranded on their porches.

He also rescued a few precious pets, some of which were more petrified of the water than others.

It was easy to see, he said, why so many people lost their foundations. “Once we would let go of a house, the current would whip the boat around into the house, and I would have to go full power against the current.

“I’ve done a lot of Mississippi River boating, and I have never experienced more treacherous current conditions,” he said.

Dave is still amazed by how quickly the water rose and also how quickly it disappeared. Many questions regarding the cause and the science of it all, still remain unanswered. “It was nature at work,” he said.

For several weeks, the McConvilles, along with friends and family, worked 20 hours a day removing items from their home, ripping up flooring and carpeting and sanitizing the lower level.

“There were two reactions,” he said. “People either stood in shock, or they did what we did and started an action plan before the flood subsided, but I’m not saying there is a right way or a wrong way. (The flood) had a very emotional impact; it’s been very stressful. Your home is the most foundational investment in your life.”

Dave estimates they cleaned out 14 inches of mess, mud, muck and septic water. The smell, McConville said, was horrible. At one point, when they thought they had finished with removal, the family removed more sheetrock after they continued to smell mold.

And, for a while, the three have had unusual sleeping conditions. Some nights, Dave and his daughter have slept on the floor because there was little space anywhere else; they piled what could be salvaged from two floors, onto one. Their lower level had contained three bedrooms, a living room, an office, a bathroom and pantry.

“We haven’t started to restore,” Dave said. “We’re putting together a financial model. It’s been hard to watch your home go from being worth however many thousands of dollars to unmarketable in a matter of seconds.”

But, Dave said, after a particularly despairing day, he began to remind himself — and took comfort from the fact — that no one he knows was killed. His family was not hurt and they still have their home.

“It’s just stuff,” he said.

Cardinals taking part in ‘Hour of Power’

The Saint Mary’s swimming and diving teams will be hitting the pool Tuesday, Nov. 6 — but this “training session” won't be like any other the Cardinals have taken part in this season.

SMU will be one of 11 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools — not to mention one of more than 30 collegiate teams nationwide — participating in the “Hour of Power” Relay. The relay is in honor of Carleton swimmer Ted Mullin, who passed away in the fall of 2006 from sarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer, and all funds raised through this event will support research into the causes of sarcoma in young people at the University of Chicago.

The “Hour of Power” Relay will kick off at 4 p.m. (5 p.m. Eastern Time) and is a one-hour continuous relay. During Mullin’s days as a Knight, this was one of the team’s favorite practices, and Carleton felt it would be a fitting to not only honor their former teammate, but to also raise money for cancer research.

“This is a pretty special event for us — most of our upperclassmen had competed against Ted, and we all felt that this was a great way to honor his memory,” said SMU head coach Eric Lindquist. "All of our swimming and diving athletes are going to be taking part, swimming all-out for one hour in a number of different relays that will be going on at the same time. We’re pretty excited — it should be a lot of fun.”

If anyone would like to contribute to this event, please send donations to coach Lindquist at Box 62. Checks may be made payable to Saint Mary’s University. The SMU swimming and diving team is also welcoming any interested parties to stop by the pool at 4 p.m. on Nov. 6 to cheer on the Cardinal swimmers as they take part in this special event.

Exhibit examines cultural, social forces through paintings, audio

"Samiha" - encaustic painting by Michal Sagar

"Hinda" - encaustic painting by Michal Sagar

Minneapolis artists Michal Sagar and Francisca de Beurges Rosenthal present a thought-provoking and inspiring exhibit titled, “Branches: A Contemporary Convivencia” through Nov. 10 at Saint Mary’s.

“Branches” will be on display in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, call Ext. 1652.

Get set to scream at annual Saint Mary's Walk of Horror

This year’s Saint Mary’s University Walk of Horror is again guaranteed to give you goosebumps. New scares are planned around every corner.

The 11th annual hair-raising fundraiser for the SMU Cardinal fastpitch softball team will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 26-27 and 31 in the SMU bluffs. Walkers are asked to meet on the lighted path between the SMU baseball and softball fields, where the haunted walk will begin.

Groups are then escorted through the dark bluffs surrounding the SMU campus for approximately 20 minutes.

The cost is $5 for adults, $4 for students with ID, and $4 for children 12 and younger. Tickets are available at the gate.

SMU head fastpitch softball coach Jen Miller said the event is fun for all ages. The scare level is toned down for younger children and turned up for groups bold enough to face their fears. Last year more than 1,000 brave souls took SMU’s Walk of Horror.

Proceeds from this event will be used for the softball team’s spring trip to California for a tournament. For more information, contact Miller at Ext. 6923.

Halloween Fun Night for kids is Oct. 29 at Saint Mary’s

Elementary and preschool children from the Winona area are invited to attend the seventh annual Saint Mary’s University Halloween Fun Night from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29.

Young trick-or-treaters should start out the evening at the Hall of Fame Room, where face-painting, a coloring station, bucket toss and other fun games will be offered, and the Cardinal mascot will greet pint-sized ghosts and goblins.

From there, SMU students will lead groups of trick-or-treaters through the residence halls of the university, where they can go door to door for candy.

Last year more than 600 kids participated in this free, safe and fun event, sponsored by the Office of Residence Life.

Donations of candy or money can be dropped off through Oct. 29 in the Student Development Office or call Ext. 1409 for a candy pickup.

Common Threads clothing sale runs Oct. 25-27

The sixth annual Common Threads clothing sale will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27, in Room B of the Toner Student Center.

Gently used clothing and footwear for men, women, youth and infants will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The public is welcome.

The event is sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry and the student Peace and Justice group. Each year the money raised — along with the leftover clothing from the sale — goes to local organizations that help those less fortunate.

Next Let’s Do Lunch has Halloween theme

The next Let’s Do Lunch, hosted by Student Services, is planned for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31. Proceeds will go to faculty and staff who have lost their homes or had significant flood damage.

SMU Chemistry Nights planned for Oct. 25 & Nov. 1

Area high school juniors and seniors (and their teachers) will learn the importance of chemistry in everyday life via hands-on activities 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday Nov. 1 during Chemistry Night at Saint Mary’s.

Chemistry Night, sponsored by the SMU Department of Chemistry and the La Crosse-Winona section of the American Chemical Society, is an annual event to help students explore the discipline of chemistry and appreciate the positive role chemistry plays in the world.

Each year students solve a challenging but fun chemical problem based on the National Chemistry Week theme; this year’s theme is “The Faces of Chemistry.”

Students will be distributed into small teams and will work with instrumentation in the SMU Department of Chemistry, under the guidance of chemistry majors.

During the event, students will have hands-on exposure to various chemical instrumentation and wet chemistry. Prizes will be awarded including 12 SMU scholarships of $2,000 and $1,000.

For more information, contact Dr. Jim Vogel at Ext. 1558.

Upcoming events for internships, study abroad

“Conducting an Internet Job Search” will take place Thursday, Nov. 1, at 4:30 p.m. in Saint Mary’s Hall, Room 132.

The study abroad deadline for Belfast, Ireland; Olso, Norway; and Quito, Ecuador is scheduled for Nov. 1. For more information, contact Jackie Baker at Ext. 6695.

Phi Mu Alpha announces Blue Angel dates

The brothers of Phi Mu Alpha cordially invite members of the faculty and staff to Blue Angel 2007. This year’s performances are Friday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 and 10 p.m.

You may receive a complimentary admission to the show of your choice by contacting Dr. Jeff Highland at Ext. 1459 or campus box 1.

Second Page Improv first performances this weekend

The Second Page Improv show features student comedians in hilarious situations and is free and open to the public.

Performances will take place in the Figliulo Recital Hall on Friday, Oct. 26, at 7 and 10 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 27, at 10 p.m.

An update from Nairobi

From Father Michael Kirwen, director of the Maryknoll Institute for African Studies in Nairobi, Kenya:

Professional-Quality Field Research

“Since MIASMU students in Nairobi do an hour of field research for every hour of class, it is critical that they become professional researchers if they are to collect valuable data. To facilitate this, MIASMU offers workshops on field research principles and practices. Besides the theoretical training, the workshops enable students to discuss issues that they encounter in actual field research and do practice interviews showing the various methods and research techniques.

“For example, in the workshop of Oct. 18, a focused group interview was done on bridewealth, the gifts given to the family of the bride. The student interviewer asked all the seven different types of questions during the event. The analysis afterward revealed that ultimately bridewealth legitimizes children into the family (lineage) of the father. Furthermore it demonstrated that the bridewealth payments can be any product, animal, service — anything that can be exchanged, even school fees and accommodation for the bride’s brother.

“The workshops are organized into foundational and advanced classes, each having three modules – one for each course — which are spaced throughout the semester. By the end of six courses a student is trained to do professional-quality field research and is awarded one credit.”

Jazz event calendar

Swing Inc., including Eric Heukeshoven, will perform 8 to 11 p.m. today, Oct. 26, at Waterfront Restaurant, La Crosse, Wis.

John Paulson and Incognito, a 12-piece band, will perform 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, at Striker’s Bar in Stewartville, Minn.

The John Paulson Quartet performs 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Starlight Lounge, La Crosse, Wis.

Flood relief volunteers needed

There are plenty of options to volunteer for flood relief this weekend.

Volunteers will be heading out today from 1-4 p.m. There is also an opportunity this Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To sign up, or for more information, contact Katie LaPlant at Ext. 6936.

Volunteer Services is going to Biloxi over Thanksgiving break

Students will be helping families continue to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina during Thanksgiving break Nov. 16-26.

The cost of $150 includes transportation and food. Applications can be picked up in Toner Student Center’s Room 8.

Lasallian Social Justice topic of Oct. 31 luncheon

Two presentations about the Lasallian Social Justice Institute are scheduled for lunch on Oct. 31 and Nov. 7.

This summer three members of the College faculty participated in the Lasallian Social Justice Institute (LSJI) program sponsored by the Christian Brothers USA/Toronto Region. Dr. Dorothy Diehl assisted with the LSJI-Chicago experience; Ann Smith participated in LSJI-San Francisco; and Dr. Greg Gaut attended LSJI-El Paso, along with Valerie Fitzgerald from the Twin Cities campus.

On Wednesday, Oct. 31, Diehl and Smith will share their presentation, “Building Solidarity with Persons in Poverty: LSJI Chicago and San Francisco.”

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, Gaut will present “From Both Sides of the Border: A Lasallian Look at the Immigration Issue.”

The Office for Mission will host these Wednesday afternoon lunches in the Faculty Dining Room. The presentations will begin at 12:15 p.m., but those attending may begin arriving at 11:45 a.m. Indicate to the cashier that you are attending the Mission presentation.

University Council for Lasallian Formation, Mission formed

Brother Louis DeThomasis has formed the University Council for Lasallian Formation and Mission. The purpose of the council is to empower all at the university to foster and to embrace our Lasallian charism.

This council has an essential and important role — the development, guidance and nurturing of our Lasallian charism for the future of Saint Mary’s University. A primary focus of this council, moderated by Brother Lawrence Humphrey, FSC, Lasallian Scholar-in-Residence, is to enable our university community to embrace all of our personnel and students in an open and caring manner that demonstrates the true nature of Saint John Baptist de La Salle and his Brothers in their educational, spiritual and social missions.

Their role — as leaders in the SMU community — is to inspire, animate, encourage and nurture our Lasallian identity. It will be the goal of this council to foster inclusivity, i.e., to include and invite all to join in and embrace our Lasallian charism no matter where they are on their own personal faith journey. The members of the council will have the ability to determine both how the council will operate and its future composition.

The group includes:

Moderator: Brother Lawrence Humphrey, FSC

College Division: Dr. Mary Catherine Fox (coordinator), Dr. Dorothy Diehl, Tim Gossen, Dr. Stephen Pattee, Valerie Robeson, Ann Smith, Sister Judith Schaefer.

SGPP Division: Dr. Roxanne Eubank (coordinator), Dr. Gerald Ellis, Sarah Fisher, Valerie Fitzgerald, Dr. Greg Sobolewski, Mary Thole and Dr. Mary Louise Wise.

SMU looking for announcer for sporting events

If you’ve ever dreamed of doing play-by-play announcing for sporting events, like the TV and radio broadcasters you've grown up listening to, then now is your chance! Saint Mary’s is looking for faculty and staff to do play-by-play and color commentary over the Internet of home men’s and women’s basketball games and home men’s and women’s hockey games.

You would be trained in the use of the equipment and on how to approach the calling of a game. You wouldn’t be obligated to do all of the home games, just the ones that fit into your schedule. Any help we can get is appreciated. If interested, please contact Dean Beckman at

Sympathy to Torstenson family

Dr. Joel Torstenson, father of Ruth Ann Torstenson-Lemasters (reference librarian at the Fitzgerald Library) died Thursday, Oct. 18, at Saint Marys Hospital, Rochester, Minn.

The Saint Mary’s University community extends its sympathy to the Torstenson family.