Friday, November 4, 2011

Saint Mary’s to host panel discussion on food insecurity

Under-Told Stories journalist Fred de Sam Lazaro to report on trip to East Africa

The public is invited to experience a real and emotional taste of the dire conditions of East Africa during a discussion on “From the Famine Frontline: The Complex Issue of Food Security” Thursday, Nov. 17, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Salvi Hall.

Fred de Sam Lazaro, director of the “Under-Told Stories Project” and a correspondent for PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and his team will have recently returned from the famine frontlines of East Africa. Joined by other panelists, de Sam Lazaro invites the public to participate in a discussion about how to feed a complex world whose population will climb to 9 billion by mid-century.

“East Africa’s crisis demands our immediate attention but the famine’s causes are a deep and complex web of economics, politics, conflict, climate uncertainty and social indifference — a threat that could persist well into the future,” he said.

The event will be moderated by Jon Sawyer, executive director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Other panelists will include Dr. David Lynch, chair of the SMU Department of Social Science, and Sharon Schmickle, foreign affairs and science correspondent for

For more information, go to

The event is sponsored by Saint Mary’s, the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership and the Under-Told Stories Project, in conjunction with the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.

The “Under-Told Stories Project,” sponsored by and in partnership with Saint Mary’s, shares stories from some of the world’s most remote locations through PBS NewsHour and other media organizations. The partnership brings de Sam Lazaro to the university’s Minneapolis campus, provides new learning opportunities to Saint Mary’s students, and is intended to raise awareness for the local ramifications of global issues.

Students to stage tragic tale in ‘Machinal’ Nov. 16-20

The Department of Theatre and Dance will present the tragic story of a woman driven to murder after being dominated by men, marriage, motherhood and machines in the 1928 expressionist play, “Machinal” Nov. 16-20.

The story revolves around the predestined main character, Helen, who lives a life that has been dictated to her. She follows the rituals that society expects of a woman, however resistant she may feel about them, and subsequently marries her boss, whom she finds repulsive. After having a baby with him, followed by an affair with a younger man who fuels her lust for life, she is driven to murder her husband. She is found guilty of the crime and meets her end, ironically, in a machine — the electric chair.

“Machinal” is inspired by the real-life case of convicted and executed murderess Ruth Snyder — the first woman ever to be executed in the electric chair in New York State after she, along with her lover, murdered her husband. The play’s author, Sophie Treadwell, covered Snyder’s murder trial as a reporter.

Under the direction of Judy Myers, “Machinal” will take to the stage at the ValĂ©ncia Arts Center, 10th and Vila streets, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 16-19, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20.

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

Blue Angel 2011 hits the stage this weekend

The Brothers of Phi Mu Alpha cordially invite faculty and staff to Blue Angel 2011. This year’s performances are today, Friday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7 and 10 p.m. in the dining hall.

For a complimentary ticket to the show of your choice, please contact Bob Fisher at Ext. 6658 or

Kirk to give piano performance Nov. 6

Pianist Ned Kirk will interpret Beethoven and other renowned composers during a recital Sunday, Nov. 6, at Page Theatre.

The program — which will begin at 3 p.m. — will include works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Nikolai Medtner, Max Reger, Frederic Rzewski and Nikolai Kapustin.

Kirk has performed extensively in the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia. Upcoming engagements include recitals with legendary saxophonist Branford Marsalis, a second State Department-sponsored tour of Kenya, and recitals and master classes in the U.S., Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

Kirk is known locally as the artistic and managing director of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival and as a professor of piano at Saint Mary’s.

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

New choral works by O’Shea, Heukeshoven to premiere

Two new compositions for choir by music department faculty members Dr. Patrick O'Shea and A. Eric Heukeshoven will be premiered by the La Crosse Chamber Chorale next week through the group’s “Words to Music” commissioning project.

Words to Music is a project in which poetry written by local students is set to music by regional composers. La Crosse area students in 4th through 8th grade literature and writing classes submitted poems based on the theme “It’s Magic!” in early 2011. The poems were coded to preserve anonymity. Five area composers each chose one to become the text of a new musical work.

O’Shea’s setting of Melanie Klemond’s poem “Gravity Defied” conjures up images about birds, such as cages, wings, flying and gliding. The work is accompanied by violin and cello.

Heukeshoven’s work is based on Sophia Nystrom’s poem, “Just Believe.” The young poet begins her poem with the words, “Most people don’t believe in the existence of magic, but I do, and you do.” The music is playful and contains fragments of melody that will at once remind us all of what it was like to be a child. Flute, clarinet, cello, and triangle accompany the choir. The SMU Music Department is further represented by Dr. Janet Heukeshoven on flute, Derek Clark on cello, and Jim Knutson with percussion.

Three performances of the new works are scheduled:

Tuesday, Nov. 8 — 7:30 p.m.
La Crosse New Music Festival
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
No admission charge

Saturday, Nov.12 — 7:30 p.m.
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
La Crescent, Minn.
Tickets $16 (adults), $10 (students/seniors)

Sunday, Nov. 13 — 3 p.m.
Our Savior's Lutheran Church
La Crosse, Wis.
Tickets $16 (adults), $10 (students/seniors)

For more information, go or contact Eric Heukeshoven at Ext. 7292.

Veterans Day ceremony planned for Nov. 11

On Nov. 11, in recognition of Veterans Day — an annual holiday observed in honor of those who have served the U.S. armed forces — a small ceremony will be held at the Veterans Memorial beginning at 11 a.m. Dr. Bill Crozier, university archivist, has put together a video tribute for the occasion, and members of the choir will perform. A prayer remembrance will be held for all those who have served and sacrificed in the U.S. armed forces, especially those from the Saint Mary’s community. A reception will be held in the Toner Student Center following the ceremony.

Students to show art in ‘Ideas that Spark’

Students will display energetic and electrifying work in “Ideas that Spark,” the all-campus student art exhibit Nov. 19 through Dec. 14 in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

The show features 2011 SMU December art graduates Danielle Cossetta, Sarah Kraft, Brianna Nelson, and Charlie Williams. An opening reception for the artists will be held 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the galleries.

The Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and are free and open to the public.

Oldie Moldies to perform at Signatures Nov. 12

Catch dinner and a show with the Oldie Moldie All-Stars Saturday, Nov. 12, at Visions Event Center.

Rock along to your favorite ’50s, ’60s and ’70s tunes while you enjoy a menu of house salad, pan-seared Canadian walleye fillet, wild rice pilaf, mixed vegetables, caper tarter sauce, rolls and butter, and strawberry shortcake. A chicken or pasta option is available by reservation.

The Oldies are members of the national music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at Saint Mary’s. The group consists of 11 talented and engaging singers and band members.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.; the Oldies will perform two sets, one at 6:30 p.m., and a second at 7:45 p.m.

The price for the dinner and show is $32 per person; reservations can be made now through Nov. 10 by calling Signatures at (507) 454-3767. Payment is accepted at time of reservation.

Visions Event Center is located at Signatures Restaurant, 22852 County Road 17 in Pleasant Valley.

Senior Class Auction nears

The 2011 Senior Class Silent Auction will be held Monday, Nov. 7, and Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Toner Game Room. The Silent Auction is a means for the senior class to fund the activities held throughout the year, specifically Senior Week.

‘A Confluence of Voices V’ planned for today, Nov. 4

Student poets from Saint Mary’s and Winona State will gather to read and share their original work at the Mugby Junction Coffee House, 451 Huff St., at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, for “A Confluence of Voices V.” Poets Ken McCullough (from SMU) and Jim Armstrong (from WSU) will host the event, which is open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own work to share.

Next biology speaker to discuss U of M program

Dr. Fang Li, assistant professor of Pharmacology, University of Minnesota, will be next week’s Biology Seminar speaker. The U of M website notes his research interests lie in the “invasion and replication mechanisms of human viral pathogens.” The title of his seminar talk is “The graduate program in Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota.”  The seminar starts at 4 p.m. in Hoffman Hall, Rom 112.

Clark to discuss the circuit of racism

Dr. Erin Mae Clark, assistant professor of English, will present “The Wire: African American Literature and the Circuit of Racism” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, in the President’s Room. The presentation is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided.

The event is sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Society. For more information, contact Dr. Carolyn Ayers at

SMU’s first mock trial labeled a success

Saint Mary’s held its historic first Mock Trial on Oct. 27. The event was sponsored by the Business and Social Sciences departments.

Student “attorneys” represented the plaintiff and the defendant in a hotly contested case in which the plaintiff alleged that the defendant served alcohol at a party to a student who was drunk and was therefore responsible when the student crashed into the plaintiff’s car, injuring him.

The plaintiff was represented by Anna Sonday, Loren Galloway, and Morgan Carlson. The defendant was represented by Colin Norris, Marty Purintun, and Andrew Seifert. The Department of Theatre and Dance contributed greatly to the success of the event: the witnesses were expertly played by Bryan Moore, Jacob Rivet, Tom Conry, and Alex Green. Alex Akers and Taylor Marshall-Miernicki helped to design the set for the trial. Nancy Wiltgen, Development, played the role of judge and also gave some advice to the attorneys after the case was over, drawing on her more than 20 years of experience as an attorney in a prominent Minneapolis law firm.

The event was well attended and included a reception afterwards. The success of the event insures that it will become an annual event at Saint Mary’s. The entire Mock Trial can be viewed online at

Business faculty present at management conference

Three faculty from the Department of Business, Chandu Valluri, Dr. Shelly McCallum, and Larry Price, J.D., collaborated over the last six months to research and write a paper on entrepreneurship titled “Swimming with Sharks and Dancing with Dragons: A New Approach to Generating Entrepreneurial Intentions.”

The paper was accepted into the proceedings of the Midwest Academy for Management and selected for presentation at the conference, which was held in Omaha, Neb., this past Oct. 19-22.

Valluri prepared and delivered a 30-minute presentation with a Q&A session afterwards. The paper was well-received and generated some very engaging discussion over its main theme: the use of television programs such as “Shark Tank” as a means of increasing interest in entrepreneurship both in the U.S. and in the developing world. An in-depth discussion on dispositional optimism and entrepreneurial self-efficacy supported the main hypotheses of the paper: that these qualities act as moderating variables in the connection between exposure to entrepreneurial media and entrepreneurial intentions.

Price and Valluri also had the opportunity at the conference to have a one-on-one conversation with James Young, the CEO of Union Pacific Railroad, who was a keynote speaker.