Thursday, February 28, 2008

Founder’s Day honors three

Top left: Ana Sontag, Outstanding Female Senior

Top right: Kevin Black, Outstanding Male Senior

Bottom: Alan Joswick, 2008 Heffron Award winner

A dedicated staff member and two outstanding seniors were honored at Founder’s Day Tuesday, Feb. 26.

The 2008 Bishop Patrick Heffron Award for Service to the University was presented to Al Joswick. Joswick has worked in the Maintenance Department on the Winona campus since 1976 and is currently the trades department supervisor.

The Outstanding Male and Female Senior Awards were presented to students who have demonstrated the ideals of scholarship, character, leadership, service to colleagues and the university community. Above all, these men and women have shown genuine concern for meeting the needs of others.

The Outstanding Male Senior Award went to Kevin Black, son of Jeff and Mary Pat Black of Mahtomedi, Minn. The Outstanding Female Senior Award went to Anastacia Sontag, daughter of Mike and Yvonne Sontag of Minneota, Minn.

Chicago Convention planned for Feb. 29-March 1

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will feature staff, students and faculty from Saint Mary’s – along with notable SMU alumni from the Chicago area – during this weekend’s Chicago convention for prospective students and alumni.

The third “SMU Convention – Chicago” will bring more than 100 Saint Mary’s faculty, staff and current students to the Westin Chicago Northwest Hotel in Itasca. Prospective students, families and alumni will be treated to activities and demonstrations, lunch and a keynote speaker, entertainment, and information booths that showcase the university.

Convention-goers will meet with professors, coaches and admission staff, sample a variety of refreshments, enjoy a live musical performance, and take their chances with games and giveaways.

A special pre-convention reception Friday, Feb. 29, from 7 to 11 p.m. is reserved for alumni to socialize, meet with Saint Mary’s faculty and staff, and enjoy a silent auction.

Saturday, March 1, the convention opens at 9 a.m. with exhibitor booths and displays. A free convention luncheon begins at 11:45 a.m., hosted by Walter ’81, Tim ’85, and Mark ’86 Smithe of Walter E. Smithe Furniture Company, featuring a keynote speech from John McDonough ’75, president of the Chicago Blackhawks.

To find a link to the Smithe brothers television promotion for Saint Mary’s Chicago Convention, go to

From 10 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, fun and educational breakout sessions will be offered by faculty, staff and noted alumni. From 11 to 11:45 a.m., the Oldie Moldie All-Stars will perform hits from the ’50s and ’60s. The convention adjourns at 4 p.m.

SMU theatre students stage drama through March 3

A rural diner gets a rude awakening when staff and customers are held hostage at the hands of an unstable madman during Saint Mary’s University’s production of “When You Comin’ Back Red Ryder?” The SMU Department of Theatre Arts is staging the disturbing drama now through March 3, in the Valéncia Arts Center Academy Theatre.

When Teddy, a Vietnam veteran teetering on the edge of madness, and his young girlfriend barge into a forgotten New Mexico roadside diner, nothing will ever be the same for its five occupants. Teddy uses personal threats and wit to psychologically dismember his hostages. “Red Ryder’s” underlying theme includes a longing for the past – for childhood, for the innocence of the ’50s with its cowboy heroes. Just as the diner’s customers and staff will never be the same, author Mark Howard Medoff is telling his audience that this age of innocence is gone forever.

Performances, under the direction of Dr. Gary Diomandes, are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Monday, Feb. 29, March 1 and 3. A matinee performance is planned for 3 p.m. Sunday, March. 2.

“Red Ryder” is for mature audiences only; the content includes adult language and violence. Tickets for the show are $8, $6 for students and seniors and are available at the Performance Center Box office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays or online at

Country singer Josh Gracin to perform at SMU March 13

Josh Gracin

The Roosters

Country music singer Josh Gracin will headline a public concert Thursday, March 13, in Saint Mary’s gymnasium.

Gracin’s self-titled debuted album is edging in on platinum status. With the No. 1 hit “Nothin’ to Lose” and other hits, “I Want to Live” and “Stay with Me (Brass Bed),” Gracin has established himself as a leading country singer since gaining his fame from the hit reality series “American Idol,” where he finished fourth during the show’s second season. In 2003, Gracin also contributed the song “Working for the Weekend” to the Herbie: Fully Loaded soundtrack, and he also sang on “When I See an Elephant Fly” on the Jim Brickman album, The Disney Songbook. Gracin, a former U.S. Marine and Michigan native, entertains his audiences with energetic stage performances and rocking country music.

Opening for Gracin is The Roosters, a Minnesota country band whose single “Sorry Bout the Mess,” released in April 2007, has been gaining popularity on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. No food or drinks are allowed in the gymnasium. SMU’s Student Activities Committee is sponsoring the concert.

Tickets are free for SMU students with ID, $10 for an SMU guest, and $15 for the general public. Tickets are available by calling the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, online at, or are available for purchase at the door.

Faculty invited to share talents in faculty revue March 27

Hey faculty! Do you play a musical instrument, dance, write poetry, or any other artistic skill? The junior class is looking for participants for this year’s faculty revue, to be held 7 p.m. March 27 in the Common Room.

Contact Russell Mollo ( or Neil Leibundguth at ( if you have any questions or if you would like to participate.

Page Series to present San Jose Taiko March 10

Saint Mary’s University’s Page Series will host the powerful, spellbinding and propulsive sounds of San Jose Taiko 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 10.

Taiko — the Japanese drum — is an instrument that embodies the spiritual essence and the heartbeat of Japan and its people. Priests used taiko to chase evil spirits and the insects from the rice fields; samurai used taiko to bolster their courage and to instill fear in the enemy; villagers used taiko to pray for rain, to enliven festivals and to give thanks for bountiful harvests.

San Jose Taiko has adopted these traditional values and infused the art of taiko with the vitality and freshness of their American spirit to create a dynamic and compelling Asian American art form. The music of San Jose Taiko weaves traditional Japanese sounds with the beat of world rhythms.

Tickets for the Page Theatre performance are $20, $14 for seniors, $12 for students, and are available by calling the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at

Group photo show on display through March 29 at SMU

Rus Hurt is one of five photographers displaying in "Tempus Fugit" Feb. 28-March 29.

Five area photographers will display assorted nature and documentary work through March 29 at Saint Mary’s University.

The exhibit, titled “Tempus Fugit” or “Time Flies,” will be on display at the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries, and will include work by Wade Britzius, Rus Hurt, Kathy Greden, Ron Reimer and Jim Risser.

Admission is free and open to the public, and gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, call Ext. 1652.

Next ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ is hotdish extravaganza

Mark your calendars for the next Let’s Do Lunch, March 13. The Office of Admission will host “Minnesota Hot Dishes.” Proceeds continue to benefit SMU faculty and staff who were affected by the August flood.

SMU to host regional science fair today, Feb. 29

Saint Mary’s will host the Regional Science Fair Friday, Feb. 29. Approximately 250 area students in grades seven through 12 will display their work in biology, physics and chemistry, behavior science, computer science, math and social sciences.

Women’s History Month Reception is March 6

The annual Women’s History Month Reception will be held on Thursday, March 6, (International Women’s Day) in the Common Room from 4 to 6 p.m. All SMU women and men faculty, staff, and students are invited to come and celebrate “Women’s Art: Women’s Vision.”

The originality, beauty, imagination and multiple dimensions of women’s lives will be honored in several ways including a display of student-made collages honoring various women artists, a display of snapshots that capture the lives of women at SMU in 2008, and a do-it-yourself art corner. There will also be music, refreshments, door prizes and good conversation. The reception is sponsored by the Women’s Programming Office and the Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute for Women. The Art Club, Public Relations Club, and members of SAI will also contributed to the celebration. Invite a friend or students and come to this popular event.

For more information about Women’s History month, go to

Formation & Mission Council travels to Rome

Members of the University Council for Lasallian Formation and Mission include, from left: front, Sarah Fischer; Val Fitzgerald; Sr. Judy Schaefer; standing, Br. Alberto Gomez, General Councilor; Simon Wachira, Nairobi campus; Br. Robert Schieler, General Councilor; Br. Jorge Gallardo, General Councilor; Tim Gossen; Dr. Mary Louise Wise, Dr. Mary Fox; Br. Lawrence Humphrey; Dr. Roxanne Eubank; Dr. Stephen Pattee, Dr. Deborah Pattee; Dr. Greg Sobolewski; Br. David Hawke, General Councilor; Valerie Robeson; Dr. Dorothy Diehl; John Schollmeier; Br. Alvaro Rodriguez Echeverria, Superior General; Dr. Thomas Mans; Ann Smith; Br. William Mann, president-elect; Dr. Jerry Ellis. Not pictured is Mary Thole.

The University Council for Lasallian Formation and Mission traveled to Rome and the international center of the Christian Brothers for a week of Lasallian formation, Feb. 10-16.

The group was welcomed to the Generalate by the General Council of the Christian Brothers who hosted a reception for the Saint Mary’s Council members their first evening in Rome. Although the SMU Council members were exhausted from traveling, the warm welcome received by the Brother Councilors set the tone for an exciting week.

The week-long program consisted of the following themes: The Lasallian Story, Catholic Intellectual Tradition, Lasallian Charism and Association, Catholic Social Teaching, Lasallian Higher Education, and Spirituality. Speakers included representatives from the international leadership of the Christian Brothers, including Brother Thomas Johnson, Vicar General; Brothers Claude Reinhardt, General Councilor in Rome; Robert Schieler, General Councilor for the USA-Toronto Region; Brother John Cantwell of the International Lasallian Center staff; Brother Alain Houry, Archivist; and Brother. William Mann, President-Elect of Saint Mary’s. Additional speakers from The Angelicum University and the Pontifical Council for the Laity rounded out the program. Speakers represented Australia, France, Peru and the United States and provided the Council with a perspective of the international nature of Lasallian education.

The week was capped off with a Commissioning Ceremony that was presided over by Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría, Superior General of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

The Council was formed last September by Brother Chancellor Louis DeThomasis to develop, guide and nurture the Lasallian charism of the university. It is comprised of 14 members of the faculty and staff from both the Winona and Twin Cities campuses. Dr. Mary Fox has served as coordinator of the Winona division and Dr. Roxanne Eubank serves as coordinator of the SGPP division. Brother Lawrence Humphrey, Director of the Office of Mission, serves as moderator of the Council.

In Rome, the Council was joined by Dr. Thomas Mans, Academic Vice President for the college, and Mr. Simon Wachira, representing the Nairobi campus of Saint Mary’s. Brother William Mann, president-elect, was able to be with the Council for the entire week, as well as present to a session on Lasallian Spirituality.

“Both Rome and the international Generalate of the Brothers worked their magic on the group,” according to Brother Lawrence, Council moderator. “The experience of being at the center of the Institute, and the opportunity to learn from its international leadership, provided a uniquely remarkable experience for the SMU Council. Our time together in Rome has served to intensify our commitment to further the Lasallian mission of Saint Mary’s.”

Biology seminars planned

On Thursday, March 6, Scott J. Brejcha, senior ecologist and project manager, V3 Companies of Illinois Ltd., and an SMU alumnus, will speak to students about Wetland Field Internships with his company in Woodridge, Ill., during the summer term. Joining him will be Keith Jones, V3 internship coordinator.

On Thursday, March 13, Dr. Richard Kowles, professor of biology, will present, “Maternal Effect - The Importance of Mama.”

All talks begin at 4 p.m. and are in Room 112 in Hoffman Hall.

Employee changes

New employees:
• Pushpa Sudhakaran, Feb. 25, GSS iT support specialist
• Adrianne Olson, Feb. 18, website editor
• Hanad Ahmad, Feb. 5, TC security guard
• Lyle Ferguson, Feb. 5, TC security guard
• Gary Schmaltz, Feb. 5, TC security guard
• Bernell Beal, Feb. 4, TC security guard
• Natalie Novacek, Jan. 30, TC admin. assistant, M.A. Education

• Gregory Holz, Feb. 29, custodian
• Linda Frisbee, Feb. 29, TC program director
• James Bloedorn, Feb. 29, GSS system support
• Jennalee Paulson, Feb. 22, admin. assistant, Wellness Center
• James Callinan, Feb. 9, admissions counselor