Thursday, July 8, 2010

First Countdown to College set for July 24-Aug. 7

Saint Mary’s will host its first Countdown to College July 24-Aug. 7 in Winona. This two-week program for students from economically underprivileged communities will be offered to students each year for four years — beginning just after they complete eighth grade and continuing until they reach college age — helping to assure each student is prepared for a successful college experience.

Preference is given to graduates of Lasallian San Miguel and Nativity schools in Chicago, Milwaukee, Racine, and Minneapolis.

The camp is completely free to student participants, their parents (who come the first weekend) and teachers from their schools, who co-teach with SMU instructors, and help prepare SMU instructors on how to effectively work with this growing population of students. Twenty-five students from the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Chicago and Tucson areas will participate this summer.

Daily schedules will mix academic classes, sports, recreation, supervised study halls, academic contests, movies with a message, game room and celebrations. Academic classes will include reading, writing, math, and grammar/vocabulary. Weekends will feature field trips as well as academic and social/recreational activities.

The camp is one portion of Saint Mary’s First-Generation Initiative, a program designed to offer academic and personal support to first-generation students as they transition into higher education. Through the FGI program, a maximum of 15 students will receive full SMU scholarships each year for the next four years, starting this fall. By 2013, the level will be maintained at 60 qualifying students. Additionally, SMU First-Generation students will be supported through College Colleagues, a campus mentoring program that pairs students with a support team to help them through college life.

Genelle Groh Beck named new human resources director

Genelle Groh Beck has been hired as the new director of Human Resources. She comes to Saint Mary’s with an extensive 20-year history in human resources where she facilitated the training and development of supervisors through an e-learning program, worked on talent acquisition and succession planning, and coordinated and directed numerous departments that oversee employee relations and recruitment.

Groh Beck has an M.A. in Management from Saint Mary’s and a B.S. in Social Work from Mankato State University. She will begin at Saint Mary’s on Aug. 16 and will begin developing the university’s new Human Resource Department. While hers is a university-wide position, her office will be located on the Winona campus.

Homecoming draws 300 alumni

A full weekend of activities drew 300 alums during Homecoming June 25-27. Pictures are now online. Go to to view them; to see a video of activities, go to

SMU hosts Lasallian Youth Gathering July 11-16

The Midwest District Lasallian Youth Gathering, “Together in Faith ... Service to Others, will be held July 11-16 at Saint Mary’s.

This marks the event’s 22nd year. This year there will be 175 participants at the gathering, including current high school students from Lasallian high schools in the Midwest District. The gathering focuses on the Lasallian Youth tenets of faith, service and community — and the students will engage in a week of activities focused on these themes.

New shell installed in Performance Center

Because of the generosity of the late Joseph C. Page, Saint Mary’s was able to purchase and install a new acoustic shell system for the Page Theatre this summer.

The steel shell, specifically designed and engineered for the SMU theatre, blends in with the architecture, and is surrounded by a high-pressure oak laminate. It stands 25 feet high by 44 feet wide and features two flying clouds with build-in lighting.

“This new shell will improve the quality of sound in our 455-seat Page Theatre,” said Michael Charron, dean of the School of the Arts and chair of the Minnesota Arts Board. “This benefits our own performers, but also allows the university to host a larger variety of musical venues. Winona has become a destination for quality arts programming, and we’re excited to be able to offer another location for performers to consider, thereby increasing arts opportunities in our community.”

An acoustic shell, funded by an estate gift in excess of $50,000 was part of the Joseph C. Page Revocable Trust Agreement. Page, a lifelong Winona resident and long-time Winona district court clerk, passed away in 1985, leaving an estate valued at $1.5 million and an estate plan that included a bequest to Saint Mary’s. In addition to his many philanthropic gifts at the time of his death, Page established a trust that paid all net income to his long-time deputy clerk during her lifetime. Upon her death in late 2009, the remainder was distributed to Saint Mary’s.

Saint Mary’s helps sponsor Mid West Music Fest

The first Mid West Music Fest, scheduled for July 30-31, will bring together more than 50 bands and musical acts at various venues around Winona to raise funds for three local non-profit organizations: Winona SEMCAC Head Start, Winona Fine Arts Commission and Winona360.

Saint Mary’s is proud to support SMU alumni by sponsoring Koo Koo Kanga Roo’s performance in the Fest. Swing Inc., which features Eric Heukeshoven and Dr. John Paulson from the Music Department, and The Wet Bandits, which features Adam Stasica from the Office of Admission, are also on the roster.

As part of efforts to raise money for playground development at Semcac Head Start, a portion of the festival at the Lake Park Bandshell will cater specifically to children and families. There will be live music and entertainment as well as hands-on activities for children. SMU alum Emerald Hulsing will be presenting a workshop as part of the event.

A two-day all-access pass is $20 and up to two children under the age of 10 are permitted with each all-access pass. Admission for individual shows will range from $5 to $10 at the door.

For more information, go to

McCullough to read at International Poetry Festival

Ken McCullough, assistant director of Academic Advising, director of the PASS program, and Winona’s Poet Laureate, has been invited to read his poetry at the 20th International Poetry Festival of Medellin (Colombia), the largest event of its kind in the world. Nearly 1,000 poets from 158 countries around the world, from every continent, have participated in the 20 years of the festival.

In previous festivals, such luminaries as Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka (Senegal), former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko (Russia) have presented their work. This year, 71 poets from 36 countries will participate. The festival runs from July 8-17, with readings and various other presentations throughout the day in a wide variety of venues. The opening and closing ceremonies have grown to the extent that they are now conducted in Medellin’s municipal soccer stadium.

McCullough will give four readings of his poetry during the festival. Each poet reads in his or her original language and then professional actors perform translations of the work in Spanish.

The International Poetry Festival of Medellin began in 1991 as an antidote to the prevailing atmosphere of violence in the city between governmental forces, paramilitary and guerrilla groups, and the drug cartels under the aegis of Pablo Escobar. The emphasis of the festival continues to be peace, and the influence of the festival has spread throughout South America and the world; many similar festivals now exist based on this model. In 2006, the festival received the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize, awarded at the seat of the Swedish parliament in Stockholm.

St. Dennis named SGPP executive director for external affairs

Don St. Dennis is the new executive director for external affairs for the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs. St. Dennis has been a member of the adjunct faculty of the Master’s in Business Administration and comes to his new position with extensive background in marketing and communications. St. Dennis has worked on numerous corporate marketing and branding campaigns, with foundations in building partnerships with academic institutions, and with Catholic and Lasallian institutions in fundraising and marketing.

The executive director for external affairs is charged with the responsibility for increasing visibility and providing dynamic and creative outreach to the university’s friends and constituencies. In addition, the executive director will focus on fostering partnerships and leading a strong fundraising development initiative with SGPP alums, SGPP Advisory Board members, friends of SGPP, and individuals, corporations, and institutions within the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area.

Student Life staff additions, changes announced

Dennis Gallagher will be joining the Student Life staff in July as dean of Campus Ministry. Dennis comes with considerable campus ministry and Lasallian experience including Lasallian Youth Corps, Lasallian Futures Assembly, Heuther presenter, Buttimer graduate and co-founder of Association of Lasallian Teachers for NY/NJ Lasallian Schools. Chris McClead and Lynn Streefland will be co-directors of Campus Ministry.

Additionally, Nikki Peters is now the Residence Life director and Brendan Dolan and Tim Fredrickson will be serving as area coordinators. Three new hall directors are arriving in July — Marc Hartmann living in Saint Benilde, Jenny Schmidt living in Skemp Hall and Stephen Craig living in Saint Edward’s Hall.

Searches are currently being conducted for a director of Student Activities and an Outdoor Leadership coordinator.

‘Let’s Do Ice Cream’ events set

The next “Let’s Do Ice Creams” — hosted by the Volunteer Committee — will be July 15 with sundaes and Aug. 12 with floats. Money raised will be used for scholarships for Christ the Teacher Institute for Education in Nairobi

Trail Scamper set for July 31

The cross country teams will be hosting the sixth annual public SMU Trail Scamper on Saturday, July 31. The 4-mile run/walk is slated to begin at 9 a.m. on the trails.

Over the past five years, the Cardinal cross country teams have put on the SMU Trail Scamper as a fund-raising effort for their athletic programs.

The cost is $18 prior to July 17 and $20 thereafter. T-shirts will be presented to all participants, with awards being given to the top overall male and female competitors, as well as the top three finishers (male and female) in each age category. For more information, go to

Student nominated for KTTC '10 Who Make a Difference’

Saint Mary’s student Jay Olson of Plainview, Minn., was nominated by his peers for the KTTC’s “10 Who Make A Difference” Award. Olson was nominated for organizing multiple events in his hometown that raised money for children’s cancer research. A pre-med major, Olson hopes to go into cancer research. All 10 award winners were honored at Rochester Fest. To see KTTC’s segment on Olson, go to vendor=ez&qu=jay+olson and click on the first story.

Tournament of Hope basketball fundraiser nears

Saint Mary’s is helping to sponsor the Tournament of Home basketball fundraiser Saturday, July 24. The event will include a 3-on-3 tournament, 3-point shootout and free-throw contest plus music, food, and face painting. All donations will go to the Red Cross Disaster relief program.

The tournament, which will be run 3 to 7 p.m., will be held at the East End Recreation Center, 210 E. Zumbro St.

Participants of all ages are invited and asked to bring one non-perishable food item. Participation is $75 per team for the 3-on-3, with a maximum of four people per team. Individual registration is $20 per person. The 3-point shootout is $5 per person, and the free throw contest is $5 per person.

Participants can register online at

For more information, contact Tory Johnson at or Eldridge McClatchey at

Alum visits music class

Saint Mary’s alum Justin LeBreck visited Dr. John Paulson’s Music Business class as a guest speaker in April and passed on T-shirts bearing the name of his recording studio, Way Sound of Chicago. More information about the studio can be found at

Alum publishes book about Twins trivia

SMU alumnus Jim Hoey ’74 has recently published a book titled, “Minnesota Twins Trivia.” For all you Twins fans, autographed copies are available in the Alumni Office (Heffron Hall, Room 60) at a discounted rate of $17 each. Checks can be made payable to Jim Hoey.

Descriptions and review of the book are below.

Jim Hoey’s “Twins Trivia” book is a must-have for fans across Twins Territory. The depth of the questions, creative concepts and attention to detail span the team’s 50 seasons in Minnesota. This book will challenge even the most passionate Twins fan. — Dave St. Peter, President, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club

A 50th anniversary is the perfect time to relive some great moments. Jim Hoey has done a great job of it. His knowledge and love of the Twins comes to life in this book as his well-researched questions take us from 1961 to 2009 and from Bernie Allen to Jerry Zimmerman. —Dave Mona, co-host, WCCO Radio “Sports Huddle with Sid and Dave”

Product Description
Can you name the only Twin to be selected to the All-star game at three different positions? Jim Hoey has unearthed tidbits from every phase of the franchise’s history since their arrival in Minnesota in 1961. Names like Killebrew, Kaat, Puckett and Gaetti will delight seasoned readers while the current crop of stars, including Mauer and Morneau, are also well-represented.

Whelan and May show work in FASEM Exhibition

John Whelan and Monta May are exhibiting work at the 2nd annual Fine Artists of Southeast Minnesota (FASEM) Exhibition — a juried, regional, professional visual art show that will run through July 29 in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries at Saint Mary’s and in the Paul Watkins Gallery on the Winona State University campus.

River Arts Alliance partners to present workshop

The River Arts Alliance partners will present a day-long workshop titled “Winona’s Creative Potential: A Workshop to Examine Creative Community Building Strategies for Winona with Tom Borrup” Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Performance Center.

The event, which will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., will address the questions, “How does the new creative or knowledge economy impact Winona?” and “Does the city have assets that position it for success?”

Guest speaker Borrup will present a “creative community building strategies” process, which will include identifying Winona’s cultural assets, recognized and hidden. During a working lunch, participants will answer questions posed during the morning’s presentation. A synopsis of the lunchtime conversations will then suggest action steps for the community.

Borrup has been a leader and innovator in non-profit community and cultural work for more than 25 years. His work explores the intersections between culture, community building, and economic development. He consults with foundations, nonprofits and public agencies across the U.S. in strategic planning and program evaluation. Borrup has written articles for publications in the arts, city planning and philanthropy. His book, The Creative Community Builders’ Handbook, was released in July 2006, by Fieldstone Alliance (formerly Wilder Publishing). It tracks communities that have transformed their economic, social, and physical infrastructures through the arts, and includes a step-by-step planning guide.

More information about Borrup is available at:

The workshop is free to community members but registration is required by July 30 through the SMU Performance Center Box Office, Ext. 1715. An optional chicken, tuna, or veggie wrap boxed lunch is available for $13 but must be pre-purchased by July 30 through the box office.

Support for this day-long workshop is provided by the Saint Mary’s School of the Arts, The City of Winona Fine Arts Commission (pending), and (SEMAC) Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council in cooperation with the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, Inc. through funding from the Minnesota State Legislature.

Tadie, Shanahan present at national conference

Dr. Joseph Tadie, Philosophy, and Dr. Jenny Shanahan, formerly of the Lasallian Honors Program, presented “Geophoto Adventure: Applying GPS data in Humanities Research” at the National Conference of the Council for Undergraduate Research at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.

Jazz notes

Swing Inc. with John Paulson and Eric Heukeshoven will perform 7 to 10 p.m. Aug. 27 at Signatures Restaurant.

John Paulson’s Jazz Quartet performs Friday, July 16, with Kies & Co. at the Starlite Lounge in La Crosse, Wis.

Swing Inc., featuring Eric Heukeshoven and Larry Price, will perform 7 to 10 p.m. today, Friday, July 9, and Friday, July 16, at Signature’s Restaurant.

Sympathy to Beech family

Scott D. Beech, brother-in-law of Pat Beech, Alumni Relations Coordinator in the Office of Development & Alumni Relations and uncle to Krystal Beech (who attended SMU 2005-09) died Monday, July 5, 2010.

A funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. today, Friday, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Lewiston. Burial will be in St. Rose of Lima Cemetery at a later date. Friends may call 10 to 11 a.m. today, Friday, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church.

The Saint Mary’s community extends its sympathy to the Beech family. Messages of condolences may be sent to Pat at Campus Box 21.