Thursday, January 27, 2011

Forbes ranks Saint Mary’s as nation’s best for minority graduates in STEM programs

Saint Mary’s is the nation’s top-ranked college for minorities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, according to a recent Forbes report.

Forbes ranked colleges and universities for helping racial or ethnic minorities succeed in STEM programs. Forbes compared the percentages of blacks, Hispanics and American Indians (groups typically underrepresented in STEM) to whites and Asians (groups typically well-represented in STEM). Forbes excluded from its analysis those schools with a student body that is almost entirely minority students.

Saint Mary’s offers STEM programs in its traditional four-year bachelor of arts program at its Winona campus, as well as STEM programs within the bachelor of science completion programs for adult learners at its Twin Cities campus.

The Forbes report cited data from the Saint Mary’s undergraduate graduating class in 2008. Forbes said that class included about 10 percent underrepresented minority students, just above the national median for ranked colleges. “But of those minority students,” Forbes said, “35 percent received their degrees in STEM – well above the median among all colleges, which is 10 percent.”

Bob Conover, vice president for communication, noted that Saint Mary’s undergraduate STEM programs “combine a strong academic component with opportunities for hands-on research and student interaction with professors. I believe it’s this combination which helps us reach underrepresented populations.” Conover added that “as a Lasallian Catholic university, Saint Mary’s is student-centered and committed to preparing learners for success in an increasingly complex and multicultural world.”

To read the complete Forbes article, go to

Saint Mary’s awarded $4,000 grant from Xcel Energy

Saint Mary’s has received a $4,000 grant from the Xcel Energy Foundation to support its 2010-2011 arts educational programming.

This grant has helped to fund the following events in connection with the Page Series and the School of the Arts:

• a masterclass and pre-show talk by Anat Cohen,
• a school matinee by the Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble,
• a school matinee by Theatreworks USA’s production of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,
• Houston Ballet II’s masterclass,
• The Nutcracker school matinee, hosted by the School of the Arts
• a masterclass by the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble,
• a masterclass by Ensemble Galilei
• a school matinee performance of Let Freedom Ring by the Pushcart Players,
• a workshop by Darrah Carr Dance, and
• two school matinees of Stuart Little by Theatre IV.

The Xcel Energy Foundation supports efforts to increase accessibility to artistic and cultural activities. In 2009, Xcel Energy Foundation committed $788,200 to programs providing access to arts and culture throughout its service territory.

Faculty, staff attend second SOUL trip

All Saint Mary’s faculty, staff and administration were invited to take part in the most recent SOUL trip, organized through Campus Ministry, Jan. 12-14.

Trip leader Joe Tadie and attendees Peggy Ebert, Peg Johnson, Terrie Lueck, Janelle Ansel, Janneke Quick and Angel Weisbrod traveled to the San Miguel schools in Chicago, where they toured classrooms and tutored children from both the Back of the Yards Campus and the Gary Comer Campus.

The purpose of the trip was to ultimately build connections between different cultures, while enriching and energizing the lives of both the employee and student participants. The attendees also learned about the ever-changing student population, so that they may better serve the students at Saint Mary’s and better promote the Lasallian Catholic mission.

The first SMU employee SOUL trip was held in May 2010. Organizers decided to extend this opportunity of service — originally only offered to students — to other members of the Saint Mary’s community.

The next SOUL trip is scheduled for May 15-18. The deadline for signing up is May 5. Contact Chris McClead at Ext. 7268 or for more information.

McCullough organizes poetry reading Jan. 31

On Monday, Jan. 31, members of the Winona community will gather to recite some of their favorite poetry, by heart. The program, “From Memory,” will begin at 1 p.m. at the Winona Senior Friendship Center, 251 Main St.

Participants from SMU will include Pat Costello, Jim and Enda Fitzmaurice, Bill Crozier, Giles Schmid and Brother Ed Everett. Other participants will be Walt and Marian Carroll, Margaret Shaw Johnson, Emilio DeGrazia, Taff Roberts, John Edstrom and Lynn Nankivil. The event is being organized by Winona’s Poet Laureate Ken McCullough (Academic Advising and PASS Program). The program is free and open to the public. Call McCullough at Ext. 8737 for more information.

Page Series presents Ensemble Galilei with Conan

The Page Series will present an evening of wonder and delight featuring Ensemble Galilei with Neal Conan in “Universe of Dreams” Thursday, Feb. 3.

This unique show will combine a live performance of early Celtic and European folk music mixed with the written word from poets, philosophers and storytellers — read aloud by one of America’s best known radio voices, Neal Conan, host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation (heard locally on both Minnesota Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Radio). The performance includes images, captured by the Hubble space telescope, that have transformed our understanding of the universe.

Ensemble Galilei takes its name and inspiration from the life of composer Vincenzo Galilei, whose influence, some 400 years ago, helped restore a vital element of passion to the music of the day. Including both classically-trained and traditional musicians, the ensemble infuses ancient music with a spirit of improvisation and liveliness. Text from Stanley Kunitz, Jim Harrison, William Shakespeare, and a re-telling of a Navajo Creation Myth will be included. Anyone who enjoys music, language or the sciences will want to attend.

The event, which will begin at 7:30 p.m., will be held in Page Theatre.

Wisconsin Public Radio is the media sponsor of this event.

Saint Mary’s University is a fiscal year 2010 recipient of an Institutional Presenter Support grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students and seniors and are available at the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at

Work of well-known illustrator William A. Berry on display

“The Eye Behind the Eye, the Art of William A. Berry” is on display at Saint Mary’s through Feb. 20.

The show, free and open to the public, is on display at the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

This retrospective exhibition celebrates the life and work of the internationally known artist, illustrator, author and teacher William A. Berry. This exhibit features a number of large colored pencil still life drawings for which he is perhaps best known. Also included in a variety of media are examples of themes including portraits, the human form and architectural motifs.

Berry’s rich professional career spanned nearly half a century. His book, “Drawing the Human Form: Methods, Sources, Concepts” is still a widely used textbook for illustration. Berry also worked as an illustrator for Newsweek, The Reporter, Opera News and Esquire. His work has appeared in more than 500 juried and solo exhibits.

A reception will be held Friday, Feb. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the galleries. A presentation by Dr. John Whelan, SMU’s Department of Art and Design, and Valerie Wedel, Missouri Valley College, will take place at 6:15 p.m.

For more information, call Ext. 1652.

Public invited to ‘SMU 10K’ ski events Sunday, Jan. 30

Saint Mary’s is inviting the public to the annual “SMU 10K” classic ski event on Sunday, Jan. 30. A classic-style citizens ski event will begin at 10 a.m., and a skate race will begin at 1 p.m.

A kids race will start at the gazebo at 11 a.m. Approximately 75 to 100 kids from the Minnesota Youth Ski League are expected to participate.

“We’re very fortunate to have an excellent trail system here that is both scenic, as well as challenging," said Chris Kendall, vice president of student life.

Both races will be held at Saint Mary’s University, home to one of the region’s finest cross country trail systems. The trails wind through the bluffs and valleys above the Mississippi River.

On-site registration will begin at 8 a.m. for the classic ski and 11 a.m. for the skate race, both at the SMU Toner Student Center. The cost is $10 for one race or $20 for both; the fee includes a souvenir race bib. Medals will be awarded for men and women in open and recreational classes.

For more information or to receive a registration form, call Gary Borash at Ext. 8740 or e-mail

Relay for Life scheduled for March 18-19

On Friday, March 18, Saint Mary's will be hosting its fourth annual Relay for Life event. Relay for Life is a 12-hour relay held in celebration for cancer survival and a way to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

For more information, contact Kaitlin at

More competitors needed for annual chili cookoff

The competition’s getting hot! But so far only three people have signed up to compete.

The Volunteer Committee invites you to test your award-winning chili in the upcoming faculty/staff chili cookoff on Friday, Feb. 4.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three entries!

Please let Deb Nahrgang (Ext. 6966 or know if you plan to enter the contest, so we can be sure we have enough to go around! If 10 competitors do not sign up, the event will need to be cancelled.

Chili makers should bring their “unmarked” crockpot to the Common Room by 11 a.m. for judging. Everyone is invited to eat chili between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Desserts, beverages and side dishes will also be provided.

Cardinal corner chooses new charity

The Cardinal Corner will raise money this semester for an orphanage in Chotomow, Poland. Ania McNamara, one of the students in the MG315 Entrepreneurship class, has been raising funds to assist the orphanage she lived in as a small child.

The Cardinal Corner is a non-profit retail store located in the lower level of the Toner Student Center. Managed by the students of MG315 Entrepreneurship and supported by the School of Business, the mission of the store is to create an opportunity for entrepreneurship students to gain hands-on experience in operating a small business.

Each semester, the class donates profits from the Cardinal Corner to a charity of their choice. In addition, the store sells products for various SMU clubs, teams, departments, and organizations and returns 100 percent of the sales to benefit the SMU community.

For more information, contact the professor, Jana Craft, at Ext. 1491 or Become a fan and receive the latest updates at

Women’s basketball celebrates the ‘pink zone’ Feb. 12

The women’s basketball team will join forces with teams across the country when they play for a cure to celebrate the “pink zone!”

Game time is 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12, vs. Carleton College (The men’s game will follow at 3 p.m.) Everyone is encouraged to wear pink to the game.

Games People Play out of La Crosse, Wis., has teamed up with SMU women’s basketball to help fund raise for breast cancer awareness. Pink T-shirts are available for $10 each with all proceeds being donated to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund TM.

If you would like to purchase a T-shirt or make a donation, e-mail Coach Mandy Pearson at by Feb. 1 with your name and size(s) of the T-shirt(s) you would like. Donations will be accepted at the game as well.

International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education earns CHEA recognition

The Board of Directors of the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) granted recognition to the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education in January.

The Bachelor of Arts Business program is accredited by IACBE.

Dr. Thomas Marpe, dean of the School of Business, was very pleased with CHEA recognizing the high standards IABCE requires of its accredited business programs. The Winona- based Bachelor of Arts business program went through reaccreditation in 2007, which includes a large self-study and a campus visit by IACBE to validate the quality of the accredited programs. This is just another indicator of the high standards and quality teaching in our business program.

Kabara elevator pitch contest nears

This semester’s Kabara elevator pitch contest will be held on Thursday, Feb. 3. at 3:30 p.m. Students who want to participate need to register with Theresa Speck by Tuesday, Feb. 1.

One of the main goals of the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies is to involve students from all majors, so every student is encouraged to enter.

A sample pitch on YouTube can be found at

Heritage discussion groups offered

The University Council for Lasallian Mission is offering Heritage Discussion Groups this semester in both Minneapolis and Winona.

Groups will discuss one of two topics: 1) “Lasallian Origins and Heritage” and 2) "The Catholic Intellectual Tradition." In a three-year cycle, the following topics will be covered:

2011: Lasallian Origins & Heritage
The Catholic Intellectual Tradition

2012: Lasallian Pedagogy
Catholic Social Teaching & Tradition

2013: Lasallian Spirituality
Catholic Moral Tradition

Each group will have a volunteer facilitator and assigned readings, and will meet four times this semester (February-May).

Faculty and staff are invited to consider participating in one of these discussion groups as a way to deepen your understanding of the Lasallian Catholic heritage of Saint Mary’s, and to interact with colleagues on these topics.

If you are interested, respond to Mary Williams Bambenek at or Ext. 8738 on the Winona campus or Mary Thole at or Ext. 118 on the Minneapolis campus by today, Friday, Jan. 28.

Jazz notes

Members of Swing Inc. will perform 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, at Signature’s Restaurant; 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, at the Canadian Honker in Rochester; and 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at The Waterfront in La Crosse, Wis.

Sympathy to Wener family

Marion Grzadzielewski, Grandmother of Kara Wener (institutional research), and mother-in-law to Joseph Wener (maintenance), died Monday, Jan. 24.

A note of condolence can be sent to: Kara Wener & Family, campus box 1489.

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