Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chamber Singers to perform in Rome

The Chamber Singers will perform in Rome as part of their 2011 Concert Tour. A highlight of the tour will include the performance of two new compositions — by SMU Music faculty — at St. Peter’s Basilica March 11.

The 25-voice select ensemble is directed by Dr. Patrick M. O’Shea, associate professor of music.

Tour performances will include the following liturgies and concerts:

  • Parish of S. Giovanni Battista De La Salle – 6:30 p.m. Ash Wednesday, March 9
  • Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican – 5 p.m. Mass, Friday, March 11
  • Collegio S. Giuseppe de Merode – 11:30 a.m. Concert, Saturday, March 12
  • Parish of Santa Susanna – 10:30 a.m. Mass, Sunday, March 13

The concert at S. Giuseppe is free and open to the public, and guests are welcome at the various liturgies. Repertoire will include a cappella works by Palestrina, Monteverdi, Kevin Siegfried, Moses Hogan, and world premieres of Preghiera Semplice (Prayer of St. Francis), composed by A. Eric Heukeshoven, and O Pray For the Peace of Jerusalem, composed by Dr. O’Shea especially for this tour.

Before departure, the Chamber Singers will sing as the guest choir for Mass at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, at Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago. Upon their return, they will present a free “Homecoming Concert” in Winona at the Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels, 7th and Vila streets, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17.

For more information, call Ext.1598.

Outstanding Senior Award finalists announced

The following students as finalists for the 2011 Outstanding Senior Award:

Females — Hilary Ethen, Jennifer Koezly, Ali Kremer, Libby Perkins and Sami Traxler

Males — Santiago Escobar, Lukas Holland, Benton Kodet, Sean Ohl, Dan Streefland and Ryan Wockenfus

Please take a moment to congratulate these outstanding students. Final ballots have been e-mailed to faculty and staff. Seniors will have an opportunity to vote on Tuesday, March 1, at Senior Salute. The award for Outstanding Female and Male Senior will be presented at Founder’s Day on April 5.

Hockey team hits the nets with Big and Little Pals

Approximately 50 youth and Saint Mary’s students involved with Big & Little Pals enjoyed an evening of hockey at SMU Friday, Feb. 18.

The group teamed up with members of the SMU Men’s Hockey team for some off-the-ice hockey training. The Pals had dinner on campus before enjoying obstacle courses, stick handling and shooting pucks. The evening concluded with an SMU Men’s hockey game vs. Gustavus Adolphus. Big & Little Pals pairs SMU students with first- through fourth-graders from the Winona community for a year. The pairs meet once a week for a fun mentoring activity.

Taylor Richmond benefit to help Grathen family

Saint Mary’s will present the 11th annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, March 26.

The beneficiary of this year’s formal dance — open to the public — is Tony Grathen, the step-grandson of Susan Edel, registrar. Tony is a 7-year-old boy from Rollingstone who was diagnosed with rhabdomysarcoma cancer in April 2010. Rhabdomysarcoma is a rare type of muscular cancer.

Since his diagnosis, Tony has undergone surgery to remove a tumor on his neck as well as 22 lymph nodes. He also has finished a six-week treatment of radiation and requires 44 weeks of chemotherapy. Money raised from the benefit dance and silent auction will help the family pay for medical bills and transportation expenses.

The benefit dance has become an annual tradition since its start in 2001 by students in honor of Taylor Richmond, son of Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry and Student Life staff member Nikki Richmond and her husband Nick Richmond. Taylor has a genetic terminal illness called Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T) and the money from his benefit was used to fulfill Taylor’s dream of going to Disney World. Each year this event benefits someone in the SMU community in need.

The dance, featuring music by the Johnny Holm Band, will be held in the Toner Student Center dining room. Ticket prices are $15 per person or $25 per couple. To purchase tickets or receive more information, contact Lance Thompson at Ext. 1686. Dance tickets will also be available at the door.

In combination with the dance, a silent auction will be held on campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 24-25. A variety of homemade goods, gift baskets and specialty items will be on display in the game room, located in the Toner Student Center. The public is welcome to bid.

If you are interested in volunteering your time or donating a basket or item for the benefit and/or silent auction, contact Nikki Richmond at or Lance Thompson at

‘Celebrate.Give Back’ Day held Feb. 18

Student volunteers from the Future Alumni Committee

The Freezers performed in the Common Room.

“Celebrate.Give Back” — held Friday, Feb. 18 — was 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 was a day to say “thank you” and spread awareness of the importance of philanthropy on campus and in the community. Hundreds of students signed a “Thank you banner,” and the day concluded with a free concert by the Freezers. This event was sponsored by the Young Alumni Association and the Future Alumni Committee.

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

Father Fabian T-shirts now on sale at Cardinal Corner

Father Fabian T-shirts are now on sale for $10 at the Cardinal Corner. Quantities are limited. Proceeds from sales will be donated to the Polish Children's Orphanage in Chotomow, Poland.

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 College 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 457-1491 or Become a fan and receive the latest updates 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 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.

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 Showcase a success

Jasmine Wang performs "Butterfly Lovers" on a Zither.

Yer Xiong and Joua Xiong perform a Hmong dance.
A Kung Fu presentation was given by Yuepeng Li

The first International Week concluded with the SMU International Showcase Saturday, Feb. 19. The evening included international music and dance, performed by SMU international students. Proceeds will go to the Winona County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Habitat for Humanity to dedicate Women Build House

Tyrrena Ostrander and her sons will receive the keys to their new home and to a brighter future at a special home dedication and open house on Friday, March 25, at 182 Edward St.

What’s unique about this Habitat for Humanity house is that approximately 450 women picked up hammers and power tools to build alongside the Ostrander family. The Saint Mary’s University team of 41 individuals raised $9,400 toward the home and has been involved with construction throughout the year.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held in May 2010, and in mid-April the family will be able to move into their new home.

Women built the house as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program, underwritten by Lowe’s, which encourages women to build Habitat houses to move families out of substandard housing. Nationally more than 1,500 Habitat homes have been built by crews of women; this was Winona County’s first Women Build House.

The community is invited — between 5:30 and 7 p.m. — to tour the home, enjoy refreshments, welcome the Ostrander family and congratulate the hard-working Habitat volunteers. A program will begin at 6 p.m.

Saint Mary’s presents Irish dance with Darrah Carr

The Page Series invites the public to celebrate the beauty of traditional Irish step and contemporary modern dance with Darrah Carr Dance Wendesday, March 23.

The fast-paced, spirited dance will begin at 7:30 p.m. on the Page Theatre stage, located in the SMU Performance Center.

Renowned for integrating Irish culture within its choreography, Darrah Carr Dance blends Irish music, step dance footwork, and spatial patterns to create high-energy, rhythmically based work that is accessible to a broad audience.

Artistic Director Darrah Carr calls her style ModERIN: a playful combination of the words modern (dance) and ERIN (an Irish American term of endearment for Ireland).

The evening will include a selection of traditional Irish dance as well as ModERIN works that combines elements of traditional style Irish dance with modern elements.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 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

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

Deadline is today for SMU’s Relay for Life March 18-19

The Saint Mary’s Colleges Against Cancer group invites the community to its 2011 Relay for Life — to be held 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday, March 18-19, in Saint Mary’s Gostomski Fieldhouse.

Teams comprised of friends, families and co-workers will join together for this fundraising effort, which celebrates people who have battled cancer, remembers loved ones lost, and provides an opportunity to fight back against the disease.

Last year more than 250 people participated in the event which raised more than $20,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Team members will spend the night walking around SMU’s indoor track from dusk to dawn to represent the 24-hour fight against cancer. Each team raises money for the American Cancer Society. This year’s theme is based on the American Cancer Society’s slogan; “Imagine a World with More Birthdays. I’m Making it Happen.”

Activities planned through the night include a silent auction, bingo, and other birthday-party themed games such as musical chairs, a piƱata and ‘pin the tail on the donkey.’ Performances by a student band and the SMU Dance Team are also planned.

If you are thinking about creating a team; if you would like to come and support the American Cancer Society’s efforts; if you would like to celebrate cancer survivors and remember those you have lost; or if you would like to be recognized as a survivor and have your success celebrated, come to this event. Participants are welcome to stay for as much or as little as their schedules allow.

To sign up, go to The deadline to be part of SMU’s Relay for Life is Friday, Feb. 25.

For more information, contact Kaitlin Wermerskirchen at

‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ begins

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

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

Spring Dance Show planned for Feb. 27

The 2011 Spring Dance Show, hosted by the Saint Mary's Dance Team, will be 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27, in the gymnasium.

Admission is $3. Performers will include the dance team, cheerleaders, members of the ballroom dance club, the Lady Spartans, students from Nicole’s School of Dance, and other individual performers.

Competitors needed for Iron Chef competition

The 3rd annual Iron Chef competition will take place in the North Dining Room at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, March 27. As always, the funds raised will be sent to Bethlehem University for the Gaza Student Initiative.

This initiative provides scholarships for students from Gaza to attend Bethlehem University.

Students will be signing up in teams of up to four people. Each team is responsible for preparing a dish and dessert for 10 people. In the past faculty and staff have also entered. Faculty/staff teams do not have to have multiple members, so if you’re a lone chef, you're welcome to participate. If you're interested in making a dish for the competition (or just providing a dish and not competing), let Dorothy Diehl know at Ext. 1531 or

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 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.