Thursday, May 5, 2011

Commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 14

On Saturday, May 14, the Winona campus will host two commencement ceremonies to mark the end of the academic year.

The Winona campus undergraduate commencement will begin at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium. Student perspectives will be offered by this year’s Outstanding Male and Female Seniors, Sean Ohl of Bloomington and Hilary Ethen of White Bear Lake. In addition, the university will recognize long-time supporters John and Mary Ann Remick of Rochester with honorary degrees.

The Winona campus Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs commencement will begin at 4 p.m. in the gymnasium. Along with the conferring of degrees, student perspectives will be offered by Leah Hover-Preiss, M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, from Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; and Kevin Mahoney, M.A. in Instruction, from Tujunga, Calif.

Receptions on the plaza will follow both ceremonies. In case of inclement weather, the receptions will be held in Gostomski Fieldhouse.

Prior to the ceremonies, a Baccalaureate Mass will take place in Saint Thomas More Chapel at 8:30 a.m.

The Saint Mary’s Nairobi campus hosted its commencement ceremony on April 30. The Twin Cities campus will conduct its summer commencement ceremonies on June 5.

Ceili dance class to perform tonight

The SMU Ceili dance class, under the direction of Dr. Kate Flanagan, Department of Theatre and Dance, will perform as part of the Flanagan Irish Dancers’ Spring Recital, Friday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m., at the Valéncia Arts Center. The class, which consists of 27 students, will demonstrate two of the 10 dances learned this semester. In addition, SMU student Serica Rowley will dance a solo slip jig and join the advanced Flanagan Dancers in a few pieces. The event is free and open to the public.

Laws of Life essay contest winners awarded April 20

Platinum winner, Sadie Doering, Hope Lutheran High School

Gold winner, Molly Berlin-Burns, Winona Senior High School

Silver winners, Jung Yeon Lim, left, Cotter High School; and Emily Mastenbrook, Winona Senior High. Not pictured is Dakota Ellinghuysen, Hope Lutheran.

The English class award winners from the Laws of Life Essay Contest are, from left: back, Nicole Haedtke, Amanda Schwerzler and Shaina Laska from Hope Lutheran and Emilio Taiveaho from Cotter; front, Michaela Peplinski, Eia Shina Lor, Tracy Yim and McKenna Marg from Cotter. Not pictured are Jeffrey Sia and Zhihua Chang from Cotter and Mike Hang from Winona Senior High.

Hope Lutheran blue ribbon award winners: Abbey Nelson, Jedidiah Cranor, Jordan Gahnz and Cadence Klemp.

Cotter blue ribbon winners: Ding Hua Cui, Mari Min, Fei Shen and Hannah Kosel.

Winona Senior High blue ribbon winners: Claire Smart, Rudi Ramirez, Marité Olmstead.

WINONA, Minn. — Each year students at Winona schools submit essays that reflect on the values, ideals and principles that mean the most to them in the annual Laws of Life essay contest, organized by Saint Mary’s University and sponsored by Winona-area businesses and organizations.

Winners of individual categories — announced April 20 — receive cash and or varying-level renewable scholarships to Saint Mary’s.

The Laws of Life Essay Contest was founded in 1987 by Sir John Templeton of the John Templeton Foundation. This foundation is committed to advancing a broad spectrum of activities, including studies, award programs and publications that promote the character development of young people in secondary schools, colleges, and universities.

In 1996, William Schuler approached Saint Mary’s University to begin this contest at Winona Senior High and Cotter High School, with Hope Lutheran joining in 2008. This event is made possible with his help, and the help of many other generous supporters — including Merchants Bank, William and Barbara Schuler, Junto Club, Dr. Thomas and Leone Mauszycki, Dr. Roger and Peggy Zehren, Fred Fletcher and Shelly Smith-Fletcher, Zehren Dental (Dr. Peter and Kimberly Zehren), Tony and Kathy Piscitiello, Dan and Sandy Hall, Mayor Jerry and Susan

Miller, Dr. Mark and Melissa Martin, Paul and Lori Ness, Neil and Ann Sawyer, the Winona Area Retired Educators Association, Fred and Marilyn Foss, Green Mill Restaurant and Bar and other anonymous donations.

This year’s Laws of Life essay contest winners, their schools and their awards are:

• Platinum — Sadie Doering, Hope Lutheran High School ($1,000 cash and a $3,000 scholarship).

• Gold — Molly Berlin-Burns, Winona Senior High School ($400 cash and a $2,000 scholarship).

• Silver — Jung Yeon Lim, Cotter High School; Emily Mastenbrook, WSHS; and Dakota Ellinghuysen, Hope Lutheran ($200 cash and a $1,000 scholarship).

• Blue ribbon award winners — Marité Olmstead, Claire Smart and Rudi Ramirez, WSHS; Jedidiah Cranor, Jordan Gahnz, Abbey Nelson and Cadence Klemp, Hope Lutheran; and Fei Shen, Hannah Kosel, Ding Hua Cui and Mari Min, Cotter ($100 cash prize).

• English class awards —Tracy Yim, Zhihua Chang, Jeffery Sia, McKenna Marg, Emilio Taiveaho, Shina Lor and Michaela Peplinski, Cotter; Mike Hang, WSHS; and Amanda Schwerzler, Nicole Haedtke and Shaina Laska, Hope Lutheran ($50 savings bond from Merchants National Bank).

Judges for this year’s event included: Maxine Aldinger, Dr. James Armstrong, Jerome Christenson, Dr. William Davis, Cynthya Porter, Dan Hall, Dr. Peggy Johnson, Louis Kluesener, Allison Babler, Kevin Mahoney and Grace Hudlik.

Students recognized at Academic Honors Banquet

Lasallian Honors students

Business awards

Maria Biebel

Saint Mary’s recognized outstanding senior students Wednesday, April 27, at the annual Senior Academic Honors Banquet. Highlights of the evening included the announcement of graduate and professional school acceptances, grants and fellowships, and the awarding of the following special honors:

American Institute of Chemists Award (chemistry award) — Xin Ye from Xi'an, China.
American Chemical Society Award (chemistry award) — Sara Harstad, daughter of Charles and Lynn Harstad of Chatfield, Minn.

ACS Outstanding Senior Award — Jennifer Koezly, daughter of Edwin and Monica Koezly of Ham Lake, Minn.

Kevin Martineau Award (business award) — Dongyang Xie from Xi’an China.

Outstanding Accounting Student (business award) — Dongyang Xie from Xi’an China.

Outstanding International Business Student (business award) — Fei Zou from Xi’an China.

Outstanding Entrepreneurship Student (business award) — Erin Glovigen, son of Gene and Nancy Glovigen of Rochester, Minn.

Outstanding Human Resource Management Student (business award) — Steve Kimlicka, son of Robert and Debra Kimlicka of Bartlett, Ill.

Outstanding Sport Management Student (business award) — Laura Enstad, daughter of Steven and Linda Enstad of Austin, Minn., and Andrew Ruf, son of Richard and Jennifer Ruf of Chippewa Falls, Wis.

Outstanding Marketing Student (business award) — Kelly Wagner, daughter of Daniel and Catherine Wagner of Woobury, Minn.

Saint Thomas Aquinas Award for Excellence (philosophy award) — Maxwell Perri, son of Jeffery and Jeanne Perri of Arlington Heights, Ill.

Gerald Sullivan Outstanding Theatre Major Award (theatre award) — Lindsay Christensen, daughter of Dawn Christensen of Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Brother Leo Northam Awards (math award) — Ann Cummins, daughter of Robert and Mary Cummins of Birchwood, Minn.

Future Alumni Committee Scholarship – Steven Lochen, son of David and Jayne Lochen of Kimball, Minn., and Kristina Empanger, daughter of Jon and Carol Empanger of Chaska, Minn.

Lasallian Honors Program Outstanding Senior Award — Rebecca Sandager, daughter of Michael and Nancy Sandager of Luverne, Minn., and Lukas Wallerich, son of Randall and Peggy Wallerich of Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

Delta Epsilon Sigma – Maria Biebel, daughter of Robert and Mary Biebel of Winona, received the National Delta Epsilon Sigma Undergraduate Student Award; and Nakisa Khoshnevis, daughter of Hamid and Shirly Khoshnevis of Dayton, Minn., received the National DES fellowship for graduate study Award.

History Department Distinction Award — Benjamin Eirikson, son of Philip and Debra Eirikson of Austin, Minn.

Senior art shows to run through May 14

Saint Mary’s senior art students will present their work in the upcoming exhibit, “Through the Lashes,” through Saturday, May 14, at the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

“Through the Lashes” is a capstone experience for SMU Art Studio and Graphic Design majors. The name, chosen by the exhibiting seniors, comes from a reference Vincent Van Gogh made to his brother Theo in many letters. Van Gogh would say “Today, I painted through the lashes,” which meant he would squint his eyes to remove the middle grays and helped him focus on the strong contrasts of the objects he was looking at.

Artists displaying their work through May 14 will include Alexa Bergler, Stephanie Binot, Emily Cooper, Chelsea Deering, Jesse Fleming, Cody Harvey, Nicole Krystosek, Danielle Miller and Tania Trowbridge.

The galleries — free and open to the public — are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

‘Celebrate Japan’ raises money for Misato, Winona’s sister city

As part of a citywide effort to raise money for earthquake relief in Misato, Japan — Winona’s sister city — Saint Mary’s hosted “Celebrate Japan” Thursday, May 5.

The event, a cultural showcase of Japan’s rich culture and traditions, began with an announcement from Winona Mayor Jerry Miller.

Other events included:
• Japanese woodblock printing demonstrations, “Moku Hanga,” by SMU’s Preston Lawing
• Origami with Sandy Wernimont from the Winona Middle School
• Japanese dance, provided by Winona State University students from Japan
• A Japanese martial arts demonstration by SMU’s Francis “Fritz” Speck, Valerie Robeson and Walker Robeson, and other members of Minnesota Genbu-Kai Karate
• Sushi (served by Chartwells Food Service) in limited quantities
• Japanese poetry readings by Winona Poet Laureate Ken McCullough of SMU and former Poet Laureate Jim Armstrong of WSU
• A reading from “Sadako and the 1,000 Paper Cranes”
• Reiki massage by Gerry Naal
• Live music with Patti Darbo
• A Skype message from Misato

Jazz combos to perform May 8 at Acoustic Café

Two student jazz workshop combos, directed by Dr. John Paulson and Eric Heukeshoven of the Music Department, will present a free concert Sunday, May 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Acoustic Café, 77 Lafayette St. This event will feature student musicians who have been playing together all semester, and it will serve as their “final exam.”

They’ll be playing well-known jazz standards by composers like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington.

Saint Mary’s announces next Page Series season

WINONA, Minn. — The 25th season of the Saint Mary’s University Page Series is once again filled with music, dance, theatre, and family-friendly offerings from around the world! You don’t have to travel far for world-class performances. Season subscriptions go on sale May 16-July 29 and Aug. 15-Sept. 9. Individual tickets go on sale Aug. 15.

Purchase tickets to three or more events to receive a 10 percent discount for new subscribers; returning 2010-11 subscribers receive 25 percent off the total order. Subscribers also have exchange privileges and guaranteed seating choice.

To order, go online to or call the box office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Summer box office hours, May 16-July 29, are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The 2011-2012 Page Series

• Friday Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m. Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience
Grammy winner from Louisiana Tickets: $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students
For more than two decades Grammy-award winning artist Terrance Simien, an eighth-generation Louisiana Creole has been shattering the myths about what his indigenous Creole Zydeco music is and is not. Leading his Zydeco Experience Band, Simien has become one of the most respected and internationally recognized touring and recording artists in roots music today. He has performed over 5,000 concerts, toured to over 40 countries and reached at least a million people during his eventful 25-year career. In December of 2009, Disney Pictures released a Pixar animated film, “The Princess & The Frog,” set in New Orleans, which was scored by Randy Newman and features the music of Simien, Terence Blanchard and Dr. John.

• Saturday Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m. Luna Negra Dance Theater
Contemporary Latin Dance Tickets: $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students
Founded by Cuban-born dancer and choreographer Eduardo Vilaro, Luna Negra celebrates the richness and diversity of Latino culture through the creation of works by contemporary Latino choreographers and through intensive, hands-on education programs that encourage discovery and exploration of personal and community identity. Steering away from stereotypes and folkloric representations, the company performs works of contemporary Latino dance with energy, power, and passion. Founded in 1999, Luna Negra Dance Theater makes its home in Chicago.

• Tuesday, Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m. “Letters Home” by Griffin Theatre
Present day soldiers and families connect Tickets: $12 for adults, $5 for seniors and students
“Letters Home” puts the current war in Iraq front and center by bringing actual letters — written by soldiers serving in the Middle East — to life. The production is inspired by the New York Times Op-Ed Article, “The Things They Wrote” and the subsequent HBO documentary, “Last Letters Home” and additionally uses letters and correspondences from Frank Schaeffer’s books, “Voices From the Front,” “Letters Home From America’s Military Family,” “Faith of Our Sons,” and “Keeping Faith.” The play without politicizing gives audiences a powerful portrait of the soldier experience in the ongoing war.

• Thursday, Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m. The Good Lovelies
Award winning Canadian trio Tickets: $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students
Part folk-roots, part Western Swing, this Toronto-based trio relies on unerring three-part vocal harmonies, clever songs, and convulsively funny repartee drawn from a seemingly endless succession of comedic adventures on the road. The Good Lovelies released a 12-track Christmas album, “Under The Mistletoe,” in November 2009, which includes three original Christmas songs, as well as a number of old classics. Get in the spirit for the holidays with this trio.

• Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, 7:30 p.m. Yuval Ron Ensemble
Middle Eastern rhythms and Sufi dancer Tickets: $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students
The Yuval Ron Ensemble endeavors to alleviate national, racial, religious and cultural divides by uniting the music and dance of the opposing people of the Middle East into a unique mystical, spiritual and inspiring musical celebration. Led by Oscar-winning composer Yuval Ron (who wrote the music for the Oscar-winning short film “West Bank Story”), the ensemble features the oud, harmonium and woodwinds, and the evening’s performance will include Aziz, a Sufi dancer.

• Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, 6:30 p.m. “Duck For President” and other stories by Theatreworks USA
6 stories for the silly season Tickets: $12 for adults, $5 for seniors and students
This all-new musical revue features mini-musicals based on the best-selling children’s books: Duck For President, Fancy Nancy, Pirates Don’t Change Diapers and more. This is an excellent adventure for families with children in kindergarten through fourth grade.

• Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 7:30 p.m. Vishtèn
Prince Edward Island Acadian music Tickets: $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students
Vishtèn's story is a musical tale of two islands. In the North Atlantic Ocean, in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence off of Canada’s east coast, lays tiny Prince Edward Island and nearby, the 11 smaller archipelago known as the Magdalen Islands (les Îles de la Madeleine). Both islands have a shared history and a shared cultural tie that dates back several centuries. The three members who make up Vishtèn, Pastelle and Emmanuelle LeBlanc, and Pascal Miousse, have become a distinctive and powerful international voice for traditional music from this part of the world.

• Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 6:30 p.m. “Peter & the Wolf” by Pushcart Players
Classic tale brought to stage Tickets: $12 for adults, $5 for seniors and students
“Peter and the Wolf” is an adaptation of the traditional Russian folktale set to music by Sergei Prokofiev. While providing a charming introduction to the world of music and musical instruments, this enchanting tale is all about the adventure of growing up. Danger becomes reality, and creative innovation becomes essential as young Peter meets the challenge of survival in the outside world.

‘Off The Page’
In addition, this year Saint Mary’s University is introducing “Off The Page” events, which feature Minnesota artists in venues around town. Individual tickets for “Off The Page” events go on sale May 16. No discounts apply. These are limited seating general admission venues.

• Saturday, July 23, 8 p.m., Valéncia Arts Center Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum
Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students
The Flying Foot Forum is a vibrant and bold percussive dance/theater company that fuses percussion and percussive dances with many other forms of music, dance and theater, while it tells unusual tales, creates a wild variety of characters, and explores universal ideas in inventive and exciting new ways. Joe Chvala has worked as a director, choreographer, writer, composer, performer, and teacher for opera companies, experimental and nonexperimental theatres, concert dance venues, performing arts academies, and universities. Joe has received numerous choreographic and interdisciplinary fellowships and grants.

• Saturday, Sept. 3, 7 p.m., Masonic Temple Low, Ben Weaver, and The Morning Foreign
Tickets: $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students
In association with the Minnesota Music Coalition.
Three popular music ensembles promise to fill the historic Masonic Temple with the sounds of today’s generations.

The musical group Low was formed in 1993 in Duluth. They quickly gained a following for their use of slow tempos and minimalist arrangements in what others have dubbed the “slowcore” movement. The striking harmonies of founding members Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker are perhaps the distinctive element for which the group is best remembered. Their debut album, “I Could Live In Hope,” was released on Virgin records Vernon Yard imprint in 1994. They currently have nine full-length recordings with numerous EPs and live recordings. Through continual evolution of their music they have grown a large fan base. Their live shows are well received, as numerous national and international tours will attest. Their tour this year includes stops at Radio City Music Hall, New York; First Avenue, Minneapolis; Queens Social Club, Bristol, England; Primavera Festival, Barcelona; Lido, Berlin; and the Barbican London.

Ben Weaver grew up in Saint Paul and has a distinctive voice that some have likened to Tom Waits. His first album, “El Camino Blues,” featured Greg Brown and Tony Glover. He now has seven releases, his most recent, “Mirepoix and Smoke,” was inspired by his time immersing himself in a farm-to-table restaurant in Minneapolis. He tours extensively, this spring spending time in Europe.

The Morning Foreign is a Winona-based group that has recently been seen at Midwest Music Fest, The Winona Art Center, and Ed’s. Playing original tunes written by Benjamin Scott, the group dabbles with jazz influenced pop, with a cello thrown in for good measure.

• Friday, Feb. 3, 2012, 7:30 p.m., Valéncia Arts Center Danza Española
Tickets: $12 for adults; $5 for seniors and students
Flamenco is an exciting and energetic art form from southern Spain that embodies rich cultural influences of the Andalusian, Gypsy, Islamic and Sephardic cultures that have lived there through history. The dancer’s rhythmic footwork, graceful arm and hand movements, and hand clapping are accompanied by the powerful strumming and soulful chords of the guitar to express a wide variety of styles, or palos, from the most serious cante jondo, to the light-hearted cante chico.

Deborah Elias is a member of the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Juried Arts in Education Roster of Artists, and has taught at Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre and School, the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, and the University of Minnesota. She also performs and choreographs with Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre. She recently presented, in conjunction with the Winona Public Library, “The Moon’s Desire,” a collaboration that revolved around the work of Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorća.

Special guest singer Vicente Griego “is striking for his deep, sonorous wails that seem to come from a cavern, someplace deep within his soul” (Anna Poplawska, “Chicago Artist’s News”). Coming from New Mexico, Griego has devoted his life to the study of cante flamenco, the art of flamenco singing. He has toured the U.S., Canada and Latin America with the Jose Greco II Flamenco Dance Company.

Saint Mary’s is a fiscal year 2011 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.

* PLEASE NOTE: All tickets (individual & subscription) are subject to a $1 processing fee.

* Student price includes ages 4 and older. $10 student rush tickets may be available for some events 20 minutes before curtain.

Faculty/staff SOUL trip May 16-18

The next faculty, staff and administration SOUL trip is scheduled for May 16-18 at San Miguel schools in Chicago. All employees are eligible if approved through immediate supervisor. All statements of interest are due to Chris McClead,, or Box 42 by today, May 6.

Windley-Daoust invited to Vatican meeting about social media

Dr. Susan Windley-Daoust, Theology Department, was an invited participant at a Vatican meeting on the role of bloggers and social media in the contemporary Church. One hundred and fifty bloggers and users of social media were invited, representing a balance of language, region, and blog format and topic. The meeting was convened by the Pontifical Council on Social Communication, and held May 2. Associated Press coverage of the meeting can be found at Dr. Windley-Daoust’s reflections on the meeting can be found on her blog,

This is the last ‘Campus Notes’ of the academic year

Although this is the last “Campus Notes” of the academic year, “Campus Notes” will continue to come out every other Friday during the summer beginning Friday, June 10. Issues will come out June 10, June 24, July 8, July 22, Aug. 5, and Aug. 19.

Keep in mind that the Office of Marketing and Communication can help you promote events, speakers, awards or any other news throughout the summer. Contact Deb Nahrgang at Ext. 6966 or