Thursday, February 17, 2011

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

“Celebrate.Give Back” — scheduled for today, 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

Next Page Series event highlights our nation’s history

The Pushcart Players will present the musical tribute “Let Freedom Ring: America at the Beginning” as part of the Page Series Thursday, March 3.

The robust musical review that celebrates our nation’s birth and development will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Page Theatre.

Audiences will enjoy a history lesson come to life — “Let Freedom Ring” is a compilation of authentic folk songs and vignettes that illustrate significant moments in history.

The play begins with the beginning of time, moving quickly to the arrival of the first Americans from Asia. With the passage of approximately 30,000 years (in under five minutes!), Freedom introduces second Americans who arrive on the Eastern shores in 1620, after a long and arduous journey from England.

Among the new settlers are four main characters —Sam, Sarah, Jennie and Ginny — who transcend time, distance and circumstance to lead us chronologically and geographically through two centuries of our American past. Their journey through the landscape of America includes whistle stops along the way to witness early encounters with Native Americans, disputes with Mother England, the Boston Tea Party, American Revolution, westward expansion, Underground Railroad, Civil War, California Gold Rush and Industrialization.

The finale is a spirited medley of international songs that celebrate the new wave of immigration at the turn of the 20th century.

Nominated for an Emmy for its two prime time specials on CBS, Pushcart Players will be celebrating its 35th year as a touring ensemble.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for seniors and students and are available at the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at

Gallery show highlights sculptures by Truax

A unique grouping of ceramic and mixed media sculptures by Lisa Schreiner Truax of the Department of Art and Design will be on display Feb. 24 through March 27.

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

An opening reception is scheduled for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at the galleries.

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 continue

The first International Week, sponsored by the Office of Student Life, has included a full schedule of activities and speakers this week.

The week will conclude with the SMU International Showcase at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, 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.

Annual Twin Cities, Chicago receptions successful

The Admission Office reports a record attendance at this year’s annual receptions for both the Twins Cities and Chicago events. The Twin Cities Reception was held on Sunday, Jan. 30, at the Airport Marriot in Bloomington with 106 students and parents attending. The Chicago reception was held on Sunday, Feb. 13, at the Oak Brook Marriott with 59 students and parents attending.

These successful events could not have happened without the generous support of many faculty, staff, coaches, current students, alumni and SMU parents who shared their Sundays to assist in bringing a taste of Saint Mary’s to prospective students. The admission staff would like to thank the following individuals for their supreme efforts:

Winona campus faculty, staff and coaches —Twin Cities: Tom Mans, Jim Bedtke, Joe Dulak, Dennis Gallagher, Laura Schmidt, Nikki Peters, Bill Moore, Eric Lindquist, Nick Winiecke, Rob McColl, Jeanne Minnerath, Shelly McCallum, Tom Marpe, Jaime Mueller, Rob Gordon, Valerie Edwards-Robeson, Carolyn Ayers, Jan Dimitt-Olson, Edith Galvez, Tycho DeBoer, Dean Beckman, Kevin Dennis, Partick O’Shea, Jay Mutter, Adam Stasica, Steve Bouler, Ken Stenstrup, Jayne Wobig and Tammy Vondrasek. Chicago: Rose Beal, Jim Bedtke, Steve Bouler, Carolyn Bray, Dan Bucknam, Brother Pat Conway, Dennis Gallagher, Edith Galvez, Marc Hartmann, Karen Hemker, Eric Heaukeshoven, Dave Jackson, Matt Klosky, Tricia Klosky, Randy Krainock, Roger Kugel, Mike Lester, Tennie McCabe, Ken McCullough, Larry Price, Lance Thompson, Liz Throop, Lisa Truax, Tammy Vondrasek, Peg Winters and Jayne Wobig.

Current undergraduate students — Twin Cities: Libby Baker, Danny Spiess, Coco Booker, Ryan Menden, Trish Nguyen and John Soucheray. Chicago: Joey Hall, Sarah McDonough, Kyle Garesche and Reid Smithe.

Undergraduate alumni — Twin Cities: Dave Karsnia ’00, Nate Semsch ’04, Megan Mollison ’10 and Sara Sloneker ’06. Chicago: Joe Hettinger ’81 and Mike Flynn ’87.

Parents of current SMU students — Twin Cities: James ’88 and Ann ’86 Menden and John ’74 and Kate M’07 Soucheray. Chicago: Patti McDonough, Jeff Norris ’76, and Joe and Angel Hall.

The positive comments the Admission Office hears from the students and their parents after these events is a reminder that this is a valuable way to connect with future Saint Mary’s students.

Students to perform in Intercollegiate Honor Band

Saint Mary’s students, Katie Lieder (Winona), Chris Engesser (Luverne); Tommy Quinn (Cannon Falls) and Ashley Buhr (Mankato) and are performing in this year’s Intercollegiate Honor Band at the Minnesota Music Education Conference in Minneapolis Feb. 17-19.

The ICHB, directed this year by British conductor Keith Allen, is made up of top players from colleges and universities throughout Minnesota. After two full days of rehearsals (Thursday and Friday, Feb. 17-18) the band will perform at 9:15 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, in the Minneapolis Convention Center. This performance is free and open to the public.

A number of SMU music education majors will be attending the conference and assisting with the Music Department exhibit booth including Jessica Bouska, Jessica Giers, Marilyn Yenni, Sara Ku, and Tyler Ringiesen. Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, Music Education Program director, serves on the MMEA (Minnesota -Music Educator's Association) Board of Directors and will be hosting numerous sessions and performances during the conference.

Kabara Institute announces elevator pitch winners

The Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies announced its recent Elevator Pitch Competition winners as Joe Richards (philosophy and marketing major), Becca Sandager (electronic publishing major) and Brian Dillon (accounting major).

Contestants created an idea for a business or an event and had 90 seconds (the length of an average elevator ride) to convince a panel of judges that the idea was a worthwhile investment.

Judges considered the feasibility and creativity of the idea and the enthusiasm and professionalism of the presentation when awarding the prizes.

The Kabara Institute is currently presenting a series of three workshops to help students create business plans. The annual Business Plan Competition will be held in March. Watch for details!

Chat, Chow & Web 2.0 presents new Wednesday topic

The next Chat, Chow & Web 2.0 titled “Still Chilly? There’s an app for that” will be held Wednesday, March 2.

Everyone’s going mobile nowadays, so don’t be left in the dust. Stop by to discover some of the latest “apps” for educators with Dr. Casey Finnerty and Rachel Thomas. As an added attraction, chili in a bread bowl will be on the menu.

Meet between 12:15 and 1:15 p.m. in the main lounge of the McEnery Center. This presentation is sponsored by The Fitz, IT and Instructional Technology.

Lunch is provided; RSVPs can be made to Jason Spartz at

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.

“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.

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. 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.

WSU students, directed by Dr. Richard MacDonald, will begin the evening, and performances by Saint Mary’s students, directed by Dr. John Paulson, will follow.

Donations will be accepted.