Thursday, February 10, 2011

Student researchers to present at the Capitol Feb. 28

Two students from Saint Mary’s, along with their faculty advisors, will head to the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda on Monday, Feb. 28, to present the results of their independent research and creative scholarship at the eighth annual Minnesota Private College Scholars at the Capitol event.

The Minnesota Private College Council hosts this event in an attempt to publicize and celebrate the achievements of just a few of the many thousands of students who attend 14 private schools of higher learning in Minnesota, and to share research that may have long-term implications for Minnesotans.

This event — to be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — will showcase current research projects completed by 37 undergraduate scholars from Minnesota private colleges and universities. Saint Mary’s students attending this year’s event include:

• Jennifer Koezly, Ham Lake, Minn., presenting “Iron Oxide/Nanoparticle Arrays as Multimodal Imaging Agents.” Her faculty advisor is Dr. Paul Nienaber. This work stems from a summer undergraduate research experience conducted with Dr. Valerie Pierre of the chemistry department at the University of Minnesota.

• Stephanie Valentine, Omaha, Neb., presenting “Just Truss Me: Geometric Recognizers.” Her faculty advisor is Dr. Ann Smith. Valentine will introduce Mekanix, a sketch recognition system that can recognize, correct and provide feedback on a student’s hand-drawn truss diagram in real-time.

The Minnesota Private College Council represents 17 well-respected liberal arts colleges and universities with 60,000 students. These institutions award 30 percent of the baccalaureate degrees in the state.

International Week events announced

The Saint Mary’s Office of Student Life will present the first annual International Week, Feb. 14-19. A full schedule of activities and speakers highlight the week, which will conclude with the second annual International Showcase.

Monday, Feb. 14 – Dr. Josh Lallaman (Biology Department) will give a presentation on global warming from noon to 1 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room. Additionally, the The Yoga Club invites the SMU community to the Dance Studio in the RAC from 7-8:30 p.m. to try yoga, an activity that originates from India.

Tuesday, Feb. 15 – Professor Dorothy Diehl, (Modern/Classical Languages) will present on the Palestinian-Israeli situation in the Middle East from noon to 1 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room. From 7-8:30 p.m., the Ballroom Dance Club invites others to learn international dances such as salsa dancing, the tango and more in the RAC’s Dance Studio.

Wednesday, Feb. 16 – Student Life will present the movie, “Babies,” at 9 p.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall. This International movie looks at one year in the life of four babies from Mongolia, Nambia, San Francisco and Tokyo.

Thursday, Feb. 17 – The International Fair will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Toner Dining Room. Participants will experience, first- hand, the places and culture of the university’s international and study abroad students. Also, The Peace and Justice Club will present Father John Lasuba, who will give a presentation about the unrest in the Sudan at 7 p.m. in the President's Room. Father Lasuba lost his father and his five brothers to war in Sudan. He was separated from his two sisters when he moved to the United States in 2004. Now he ministers to 22 new Sudanese families at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in downtown Rochester.

Saturday, Feb. 19 — The SMU International Showcase will begin at 8 p.m. in the dining room of the Toner Student Center. The evening will include international music and dance, performed by many SMU international students. A freewill donation will be asked, and all proceeds will go to the Winona County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Sisters of SAI present 'Fireside' Feb. 11-12

The Sisters of SAI (SMU’s women’s music fraternity) invites everyone to attend “Fireside,” an annual coffehouse-style performance Friday and Saturday, Feb. 11-12.

The event is held in the Common Room in Mary’s Hall, and there are three performances to choose from: Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 and are available at the door, and include coffee, hot chocolate and a slice of pie. Proceeds go to support the activities of SAI, both locally and nationally. Come enjoy some great music, wonderful treats and great atmosphere.

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

‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ nears

Can you spell hilarious? The Department of Theatre and Dance will present “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Feb. 24-27.

Catchy musical numbers combine with colorful characters filled with youthful angst and yearnings in this one-act musical comedy directed by Dr. Gary Diomandes and music director Judy Myers.

Feel the anxious anticipation at this fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. The contestants include a Boy Scout, an allergy-plagued student, an over achiever, a tentative newcomer, the wide-eyed offspring of hippie parents, and a politically aware contestant — six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grownups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” spotlights the unlikeliest of heroes: a quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out and fit in at the same time.

With the underlying theme that losing doesn’t make you a loser, anyone who sees this show is a winner.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 24-26, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 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

* This show includes adult language and subject matters.

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. Donations will be accepted at the game as well.

Business Office raising funds for Feed My Starving Children

The Business Office will be working as a team with "Feed My Starving Children" to package meals for children around the world. Volunteers will be hand-packing meals on Saturday, March 26.

Each team is asked to raise $750 to participate. The Business Office team has decided to sell homemade valentines as a way to help raise funds. These cards will sell for $2 each and are available at the Business Office windows.

Collection jars are located at the windows for additional donations.

For more information about FMSC, go to

Discussion group for parents with Katy Smith continues

Counseling Services is partnering with Katy Smith, a licensed parent educator for Winona Public Schools, to offer a noontime discussion series for faculty and staff parents (and grandparents) with children younger than 7. The discussion will center on the book “Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents” by Christine Carter. A wide array of research studies show that happiness is a learned behavior that we can help our children build and maintain.

The discussion series will begin at 12:15 p.m. in the President’s Room. Participants are invited to bring their own lunches; beverages and desserts will be provided. There is no charge for the series. Discussions will continue on Feb. 16, 23 and March 2, 16 and 23. Please call Ext. 1773 to indicate your interest in the group or if you would like more information. Participants can come to all sessions or just the ones that fit with their schedules.

Smith has been working with families, educators, and businesses for more than 25 years, helping to build stronger, more vital communities. She received her B.S.W. and teaching license in Parent Education from Winona State University. She earned her M.E. in Professional Development from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.

Winona Arts Center hosts University Jazz Night Feb. 21

The Winona Arts Center will host a University Jazz night, featuring students from both Saint Mary’s University and Winona State University Monday, Feb. 21.

The event, which will begin at 7:30 p.m., will take place at the arts center, located at 5th and Franklin streets. Donations will be accepted.

Daffodils available on campus March 14; order now

The American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days are the week of March 7 this year, but as our campus is on break that week, Sylvia Pflughoeft will have daffodils delivered on March 14 instead. Support the American Cancer Society and receive flowers to usher in the spring.

For more information, go to or contact Pflughoeft at or Ext. 1455.

Employee changes

New Employees:
• Troy Gonzales, February, Twin Cities associate director, M.A. in Special Education
• Tove Wiggs, January, box office manager
• Frederick De Sam Lazaro, January, Hendrickson Institute project director, Under-Told Stories
• Edith Galvez, January, First Generation - Countdown to College coordinator
• Bridget McCoy, January, University Advancement - Special Events project director - Centennial
• Nicole See, January, Hendrickson Institute producer/editor Under-Told Stories

Employees Leaving:
• Gary Schmaltz, February, Twin Cities - security guard
• Jennifer Fanello, January, box office manager
• Soojin Pate, January, Twin Cities Writing Center consultant
• Christian Dembiec, January, head men’s soccer coach
• Sharon O’Reilly, December, Business - assistant professor
• Patrick Thorsell, December, GIS/RA instructor

‘Celebrate.Give Back’ Day Feb. 18 includes free concert

“Celebrate.Give Back” — scheduled for Friday, Feb. 18 — is a day for students to celebrate the generous gifts around campus supported by alumni, family and friends that enhance their SMU experience. In addition, it is a day to say “thank you” and spread awareness of the importance of philanthropy on campus and in the community.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., students will have an opportunity to sign a “Thank you banner,” located in the Toner Student Center and in Saint Mary’s Hall. The banners will be used for various donor recognition opportunities. Free Bloedow’s donuts will be available to the first 300 who sign the banner.

The day will conclude with a free concert from 7-9 p.m. in the Common Room; musical guest will be The Freezers, a cover band from La Crosse, Wis.

This event is sponsored by the Young Alumni Association and the Future Alumni Committee.

For more information, contact Sabrina Kelly at

Winona State University hosts astronomer from the Vatican

Winona State University will host Brother Guy J. Consolmagno, S.J., a planetary astronomer from the Vatican Observatory, Feb. 14-15.

Br. Consolmagno, will present “Pluto and Planets X: Is Pluto a Planet? And Why Does It Matter?” at 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14, in Room 120, Science Laboratory Center, as part of the Geoscience Department’s Earth Talks Speaker Series. The lecture will address the 2006 International Astronomical Union decision to demote Pluto, in which Br. Consolmagno, cast an official vote. The discussion will also address recent discoveries of other “trans-Neptunian Objects” and what they mean, and the science and politics of planetary astronomy.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, the Big Sky series will feature “Astronomy, God, and the Search for Elegance” in Somsen Auditorium. Br. Consolmagno, will examine the intersections of science and religion, exploring how one proceeds from an emotional appreciation of the beauty of the stars and planets to a deeper understanding that satisfies both reason and emotion.

Br. Consolmagno, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his doctorate from the University of Arizona. He entered into the Jesuit order in 1989 and was assigned to the Vatican Observatory in 1993. He has co-authored five books and serves as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection, one of the largest in the world.

Both events are free and open to the public.

For more information, call Jennifer Anderson at (507) 457-2457 or e-mail: