Thursday, November 13, 2008

Brother William schedules roundtable, town hall meetings

Brother President William Mann is inviting the university community to participate in discussions about institutional priorities.

During the week of Nov. 17, he will host round-table discussions on planning with four constituent groups: faculty, staff and administrators, students, and parents and alumni. Invitations have been sent to 40 individuals from each of these groups to meet on the Winona and Twin Cities campuses.

These small gatherings will be followed by two town-hall meetings, one on the Winona campus and one on the Twin Cities campus, where all members of the Saint Mary’s community will be welcome to contribute insights on the proposed priorities. These town-hall meetings are scheduled as follows:

Town Hall Meeting, Twin Cities campus:
Monday, Nov. 24
PAN building Alumni Room
3:30-5 p.m.

Town Hall Meeting, Winona campus
Thursday, Nov. 20
Salvi Lecture Hall
3:30-5 p.m.

Following these roundtable sessions and town hall meetings, Brother William will finalize a set of priorities which will then be used to guide operational planning for the university over the next several years.

Student art on display at SMU through Dec. 12

“Hungry?” — a photograph by Keisha Harcey — is one of several pieces on display for the 2008 Undergraduate Art Show at Saint Mary’s University. The show is not limited to art majors, but is open to any SMU art student. A variety of artwork is on display Nov. 13 through Dec. 12 in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries, located in the Toner Student Center. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and the exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Sister Margaret Mear at

This linoleum print by Mariana Sanchez del Castillo is part of the 2008 Undergraduate Art Show at Saint Mary's University. The show, currently on display at the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries, includes photographs, drawings and prints.

Dance Repertory Company presents 'The Nutcracker'

The Dance Repertory Company of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts — in association with Merchants Bank — will present the holiday favorite "The Nutcracker" Dec. 4-7.

Heralding the message of peace on earth, “The Nutcracker” is performed around the globe during the holiday season. Producing this delightful ballet every other holiday season, the Dance Repertory Company once again brings this magical experiences to the Winona-area community for its fifth biennial production.

The 2008 cast includes 100 members — including students from Saint Mary’s, Winona State University, and children and community members from the Winona area. In addition to beautiful dancing, this year’s production will feature a special choral performance by MCA’s Winona Area Youth Singers at the conclusion of Act I in the Land of Snow.

“The Nutcracker” performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, through Saturday, Dec. 6, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, at Page Theatre. The Dec. 4-6 evening performances are recommended for children ages 5 and older. The Sunday, Dec. 7, afternoon performance is considered a “family event” and children ages 2 and older are welcome. At this time, the Page Theatre facilities and programs are not equipped to serve the needs of infants.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens and are available at the Saint Mary’s Box Office at Ext. 1715 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit Online ticket orders are only available through Dec. 1.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s.

Jazz groups, Batucada joint performance is Nov. 21 at SMU

Saint Mary’s jazz ensembles will join forces with the percussion ensemble Batucada Nossa Senhora for an evening of rhythmic jazz and unique ethnic sounds starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21 in Page Theatre.

The joint concert combines the talents of the 18-piece Jazz Ensemble and 12-member Batucada ensemble. The Jazz Combo, featuring five student soloists, will also perform. Dr. John Paulson directs the jazz groups and Denny McGuire directs Batucada Nossa Senhora (translated as “percussion ensemble of our lady”).

The big band will feature the world premiere of Dr. Paulson’s “Drop Off Blues.” This piece stretches the boundaries of traditional blues arrangements by giving each section in the band a challenging “soli” part, as well as ample space for individual soloists. Also included in the jazz ensemble set will be a Basie-style ballad “Nice and Easy,” written and arranged by Jeff Taylor; “Carnival Del Sol,” a lively jazz samba by Dean Sorenson; Dizzy Gillespie’s famous “Manteca”; bebop trumpeter Lee Morgan's ever popular “Sidewinder”; and “Spring Cleaning” by Maynard Ferguson alumnus Matt Harris (featuring music faculty member Eric Heukeshoven on piano). Jazz Combo will be performing A.C. Jobim’s well-known bossa nova “Triste” and Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro Blue.” The jazz groups will combine with the Batucada percussionists to ignite the rhythmic excitement of the concert’s Latin-jazz style pieces.

Student soloists in the jazz groups include: tenor saxophonist Ryan Ballanger; baritone saxophonist Ben Scott and trombonist Tom Briese; and alto saxophonist Vanessa Grams.

Batucada Nossa Senhora will perform styles from the Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian traditions, as well as a drum medley from Ghana in West Africa.

Tickets are $10, $5 for students and seniors and are available at the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays or online at For more information on the event, contact Dr. Paulson at Ext. 1596 or

SMU Oldie Moldies to perform at Signatures today

Catch dinner and a show with The Oldie Moldie All-Stars from Saint Mary’s today, Nov. 14, at Visions Event Center.

Rock along to your favorite ’50s, ’60s and ’70s tunes, while you enjoy a menu of garden salad, pan-seared Canadian walleye fillet, wild rice pilaf, mixed vegetables, caper tarter sauce, rolls and butter, and a mini banana split.

The Oldies are members of the national music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at Saint Mary’s. The group consists of 12 talented and engaging singers and band members. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.; the Oldies will perform two sets, one at 6:30 p.m., and a second at 7:45 p.m.

The price for the dinner and show is $30 per person; reservations can be made by calling Signatures at 454-3767. Payment is accepted at time of reservation. The reservation deadline is Nov. 12.

Visions Event Center is located at Signatures Restaurant, 22852 County Road 17 in Pleasant Valley.

Visiting Palestinian prof to speak about West Bank life

Dr. Muna Matar, a computer science professor from Bethlehem University in Palestine, will speak on “Daily Life in Bethlehem: The Israeli Occupation” on Thursday, Dec. 4. Dr. Matar’s presentation will run from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Salvi Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Matar is a visiting scholar in residence at Saint Mary’s during fall semester. She is teaching courses on “Women in the Middle East” at both Saint Mary’s and Winona State University. Dr. Matar lives in Beit Jala, a small city near Bethlehem. After graduating from Bethlehem University with a degree in mathematics, she earned an M.A. in Computer Science from Oregon State University and a doctorate from the University of Ghent in Belgium.

The Palestinian cities of Beit Jala and Bethlehem are part of the West Bank territories occupied by Israel after the 1967 war. For Palestinians, daily life in the occupied territories involves coping with checkpoints, the Israeli barrier wall that divides communities, and the growing number of Israeli settlements.

Bethlehem University is a Catholic institution in the Lasallian tradition, which has been serving students of all faith traditions since 1973. Dr. Matar’s visit is the result of the close association between Saint Mary’s and Bethlehem University, both of which are led by the De La Salle Christian Brothers.

Biology seminar featuring SMU alum planned for Nov. 20

Rebecca (Dahlin ’98) Laborde, Ph.D., will give a talk titled “New High-Throughput Genomic Strategies for the Study of Head and Neck Cancer: Next Generation Sequencing and Advances in Individualized Medicine” at 4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20, in Room 112, Hoffman Hall. Dr. Laborde works at Mayo in Rochester.

Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party fundraiser set for Nov. 16

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will host the fifth biennial Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party on Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at 1164 West 10th St.

Two tea sittings (1 p.m. and 4 p.m.), each with specialty teas and exquisite finger foods, will be offered. The Land of the Sweets Gift Boutique, featuring holiday gifts and crafts, will be available for the public’s shopping pleasure from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.

All children attending the tea party will receive a complimentary photo of themselves with their favorite live character from “The Nutcracker” Ballet. Additionally, storytelling of this favorite holiday classic will be held in the Land of the Sweets Gift Boutique during shopping hours.

The Sugar Plum Fairy Tea party is the first big event of “The Nutcracker” production season for MCA and its youth performing troupe, the Dance Repertory Company.

The Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party serves as a fundraiser for MCA; all proceeds go toward production costs for “The Nutcracker.”

For tickets to the tea sittings or for more information about the gift boutique, call Ext. 5501. Tickets are $15.

Winona Area Youth Singers’ inaugural concert is Nov. 23

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will present the Winona Area Youth Singers (WAYS) in “Musical Menagerie,” an inaugural concert, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, at the Valéncia Arts Center.

WAYS members are students in grades three through six from the Winona area. The youth choir started in September of this year and has been rehearsing a variety of choral material. The program features music about animals, including German and American folk songs; a familiar hymn text; and modern compositions, both serious and humorous.

Lindsy O’Shea serves as the WAYS director. The WAYS assistant conductor is Jeff David, and Anthony Freeman serves as accompanist.

Reserved tickets are not necessary. Admission is $5 (cash or check only) at the door.

WAYS is the official youth choir of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts. WAYS is dedicated to providing quality, artistic and educational programs for all young people, regardless of their financial circumstances.

For more information about WAYS or MCA’s other performing arts programming, visit, e-mail or call Ext. 5501.

Senior class auction today in the game room

The senior class auction is today, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the game room. A variety of items are available to bid on including gift certificates, luggage, a Carhartt jacket, movies, homemade dinners and more.

For more information, contact Mandy Haus at or Kaitlin Depuydt at

SMU High School Challenge results announced

Four area schools earned the right to advance Saturday, Nov. 8, in the second weekend of Saint Mary's University High School Challenge. High School Challenge is the longest-running, locally produced television program showcasing Eastern Minnesota, Western Wisconsin, and Northeast Iowa high school students in an educational forum.

The following schools competed in Round 1B Nov. 8 and are moving onto the Consolation Championship: Holmen White and Seneca. Moving on to the Super Challenge are Onalaska and Eau Claire Regis Green. Other competing schools were Lewiston, Viroqua, Eau Claire Regis White and Weston.

The tournament will wrap-up its first round with Round 1C, starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 15, in the World Room. The public is welcome to attend.

The following schools will participate in Round 1C: Holmen Maroon, La Crosse Aquinas, Melrose-Mindoro, Decorah, West Salem Black, West Salem Orange, Cotter, Osseo-Fairchild, Hope Lutheran, Alma Center Lincoln, Bangor, and Eau Claire North.

Teams that win their afternoon game will return for the Consolation Championship games Saturday, Dec 6. Teams that win their morning and afternoon games will return for the Super Challenge Championship Saturday, Feb. 21. The final eight games of Round 1 are taped at Saint Mary’s and televised on Fox 25 La Crosse and Fox 48 Eau Claire.

The following schools competed in Round 1A Oct. 11 and are also moving onto the Consolation Championship: La Crosse Central, Logan White and Riceville (IA). Moving on to the Super Challenge are La Crescent, Logan Red and Winona Senior High Orange. Other competing schools were Caledonia, Blair-Taylor, North Crawford, and Youth Initiative.

High school students receive scholarships to Saint Mary’s for participating in High School Challenge. Schools that win their first game receive $2,000 scholarships to SMU. Schools that lose their first game receive $1,000 scholarships to SMU. These scholarships are for any member of the senior class with a B or above average.

For more information, contact Nicole Witt Gerdes, High School Challenge coordinator, at Ext. 1761 or

Cochran gives presentation at reading conference

Michelle Cochran, K-12 Reading Licensure Program and Department of Art and Design, gave a presentation at the Minnesota Reading Association 2008 conference in Brooklyn Park, titled "Supporting Literacy Development Through Visual Arts."

SMU raises funds for Nairobi

The Saint Mary’s community continues to raise money for the Nairobi campus through Jeans for a Cause, as well as Let’s Do Lunch events. The next “Let’s do Lunch” is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 5, sponsored by the SMU Cabinet.

Employee Changes

New Employee:
Carolyn Bell, Nov. 10, Twin Cities, program director, M.A. Health and Human Services Administration.

Maricar Johnson, Nov. 7, Twin Cities, administrative assistant.

Sympathy to Speltz, Korte families

Barbara Speltz, mother-in-law of Dawn Speltz, Financial Aid Office, died on Nov. 9. A funeral was held Thursday, in Altura. Cards of sympathy can be sent to Dawn and John at Campus Box 5.

Maurice Korte, brother of Sister Clare Korte, Biology Department, and father to Michael Korte ’95, died on Nov. 9. A funeral was held in Highland, Ill. Cards of condolence can be sent to Sister Clare at Campus Box 10.

The Saint Mary’s community extends its sympathy to the Speltz and Korte families.