Thursday, May 1, 2014

Commencement schedule announced for May 10

On Saturday, May 10, the Winona campus will hold a joint commencement ceremony including both Winona undergraduate and graduate students. A baccalaureate Mass will begin at 8 a.m. in Saint Thomas More Chapel, and the commencement ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium. The ceremony is expected to last approximately two hours. A reception will follow in the Plaza (or in case of inclement weather, Gostomski Fieldhouse).

Limited parking will be available. A shuttle service will be provided from a nearby parking lot. For more information, go to

Handicapped parking is available on campus. Anyone needing special accommodations for seating in the gymnasium should call Barb Schmidtknecht at Ext. 6678 to make arrangements. In order to honor all handicapped section seating requests, only one additional guest may sit with the individual requesting handicapped seating. A sign language interpreter will be at the ceremony.

Admissions to conduct Spring Preview Day for juniors and sophomores

The Admission Office will host Spring Preview Day Friday, May 16, as an introduction to Saint Mary’s for high school juniors and sophomores beginning their college search. Visitors can tour the campus, learn about academic departments, and speak with Saint Mary’s staff and students. Informative sessions will be offered about the college search timeline, applying to Saint Mary’s, and how to access scholarship and financial-aid resources.

A bus is available from the Twin Cities at no cost. Students will be on campus from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Please welcome them to the university and help make their visit a memorable one.

Let’s Do Lunch raises $368

Last week’s Let’s Do Lunch, sponsored by athletics, raised $368.50 for students in Nairobi. The Volunteer Committee would like to thank the Athletic Department for hosting this event, as well as everyone who attended the Let’s Do Lunches throughout the school year. Look forward to Let’s Do Ice Creams as the sun comes out this summer.

End-of-the-year dinner is May 8

The faculty and staff end-of-the-year dinner will be held Thursday, May 8. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails begin in the dining room at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Saint Mary’s jazz ‘final’ is May 4 on the campus plaza

All three Saint Mary’s jazz groups will be featured in what has become an end-of-semester tradition known as the “jazz final.” The performance will take place on Sunday, May 4, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the outdoor amphitheatre, located on the Saint Mary’s plaza.

The concert will feature the Jazz Workshop Combo, Jazz Combo 1 and, for the first time ever, the entire SMU Jazz Ensemble. A wide variety of jazz favorites, from Count Basie’s big band to contemporary small group arrangements, will set the stage for an enjoyable afternoon in a casual, comfortable outdoor setting. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the performance will be moved inside to the Cardinal Club, located in the Toner Student Center.

The concert is free, and the public is invited to attend.

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

Congratulations to Berggren

Jessica Berggren won an iPad, and Kelly Hall won a pizza party for filling out a student health survey.

The Alcohol and Other Drug Biennial Review is prepared to comply with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989.

The purpose of this review is to provide Saint Mary’s with an opportunity to assess current student alcohol/drug use and related sanctions, determine the effectiveness and consistency of policies, interventions, programming, and sanction enforcement, and to identify and implement any necessary changes.

Current data and changes in these areas over the last two years will be followed by assessment data and recommendations. About 340 students, or a third of students, filled out the survey. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Saint Mary’s presents Student Life awards

Saint Mary’s recognized outstanding students, faculty and staff Wednesday, April 23, at the Student Life Awards Ceremony. Individuals who have exhibited outstanding leadership and service through co-curricular activities at Saint Mary’s were recognized.

Awards included:

Brother Finbar McMullen Award (presented to an SMU community member who demonstrates him/herself to be an individual who unselfishly meets the needs of the undergraduate students of Saint Mary’s) — Brother Lawrence Humphrey, FSC, assistant vice president for mission

Charlene “Char” Tjaden Outstanding Resident Assistant Award — Theresa LaValla

Intramural Official of the Year — Courtney Euerle

Outdoor Leadership Recognition — Jamie Herrick, strength and conditioning coach, physical education instructor and facilities assistant, as well as ropes course facilitator

Club/Organization of the Year — Big and Little Pals (accepted by Mae Yang and Kacie Kusinski)

Outstanding Student Senator of the Year Award — Miles Dunna

Club and Organization Advisor of the Year — Steven McGlaun, dean of campus ministry

Winona Community Service Award — Katie Wall

Saint Benilde Award (presented to students who reach out to new members of the university community, are inclusive and inspiring, and lead by being hospitable, open and accepting) — Sarah McNary

Brother James Miller Award (presented to a student who has dedicated his/her college experience to promoting the legacy of Brother James Miller, spreading the compassion of God and continually serving the community) — Elizabeth Arnold

Brother Charlie Burke Award (presented to a faculty or staff member who has made significant contributions to the entire Student Life Department. This individual has promoted the growth of the whole student through their exemplary standard of ethical service, dedication to creating developmental relationships, and their desire to promote lifelong learning) — Lance Thompson, director of student activities

Student Service Award — Abi Osborne

Leadership Certificate (presented to students who have completed the co-curricular program designed to give both emerging and advanced leaders the skills and knowledge to enhance his or her leadership development) — Samantha Borawski, Maetzin Cruz-Reyes, Conner Ellinghuysen, Hannah Friedrich, Peter Hegland, Jose Herra, Elisabeth Ortega, Christine Volk and Emily Weber.

Saint Mary's hosts regional science convention

Members of SMU Gamma Epsilon include, from left: Katie Stolz, Collin Niehaus, Kristen Thelen, Amy Spitzmueller, Dr. Debra Martin, Lisa Obasi, Kristen Gustafson, Amanda Ferstead and Anna Smaron.
On April 26, Saint Mary’s hosted the 81st Minnesota Academy of Science annual meeting and the 26th Winchell Undergraduate Research Symposium in conjunction with the NC3 District Annual meeting of Beta Beta Beta, the National Biological Honor Society.

One hundred twenty-four students from 21 colleges and universities in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin presented their research in the fields of cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, earth science, ecology and environmental science, economics, engineering, math and computer science, physics, neuroscience, organismal and physiological sciences and social sciences.

The keynote speaker was Kevin Kenow, research wildlife biologist from the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center.  His presentation was on Minnesota loons. Dr. Debra Martin was chair of the planning committee; Dr. Moni Berg-Binder was judge coordinator; and Drs. Brett Bodsgard and Robyn Wangberg were planning committee members. A special “thank you” to all who served as judges that day and also the IT and athletic departments for their support.

Students win awards at science convention

Winners of the Frank G. Brook Awards for paper presentation and John J. Johnson poster presentations: Katie Stolz and Kristen Thelen (first place, Brook), Amy Spitzmueller (first place, Johnson), and Collin Niehaus (third place, Johnson).

Twelve biology students, one biochemistry student, one chemistry student and one physics student presented at the Minnesota Academy of Science (MAS) Winchell Symposium /NC-3 Beta Beta Beta District convention that was at Saint Mary’s on April 26.

Two students received awards for the best paper presentation for their section by MAS. Those students were Amy Spitzmueller, “Heavy Metal Analysis of Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) from East Lake Winona” (advisor Dr. Ray Faber), and Elizabeth Arnold, “Extraction of Glands and Analysis of the Toxin in Tadpole Madtoms (Noturus gyrinus)” (advisor Dr. Randy Krainock). Three students received awards for best poster presentations by MAS: Those students were Amy Spitzmueller and Kristen Thelen, “The Impact of Chronic Exposure to Atrazine on PCV, Cell Size and Shape in Chicken and Pheasants” (advisor Dr. Debra Martin); and Collin Niehaus, “Size and age structure of black, golden, and shorthead redhorse in the north branch Root River” (advisor Dr. Phil Cochran).

Additionally, District Beta Beta Beta awards were given out. For the John J. Johnson Award for best poster, Amy Spitzmueller won first place, Kristen Thelen won second place and Collin Niehaus won third place.  For the Frank G. Brook Awards for best paper (oral) presentation, first place was won by Kristen Thelen and Katie Stolz for their presentation, “The effects of in utero exposure to atrazine on the hematopoietic system in Mus musculus” (advisor Dr. Debra Martin). Second place was won by Amy Spitzmueller.

Also attending from SMU were Jillian Martin, Anna Smaron, Anthony Garoutte, Kristen Gustafson, Alberta Gittens, Bethany Schmidt, Lisa Obasi, Amanda Ferstead, Alex Thomas, and Evan Shockley.

SMU in the news

Here are some ways SMU is making headlines this week:

• “Understanding the New Financial Paradigm with Sheila Bair” (from the Hendrickson Forum) will air Sunday, June 8, at 7 p.m. on Twin Cities Public Television.

• The Winona Daily News featured stories about student research: and

Showcase Kaleidoscope is Sunday

The Department of Theatre and Dance will present Kaleidoscope on Sunday, May 4, at 3 p.m. in Page Theatre.  Kaleidoscope is a showcase of performances by the musical theatre workshop (Judy Myers, instructor and pianist) and dance composition course (Tammy Schmidt, instructor). The performance also showcases the designs of students in the lighting design course (Jason Underferth, instructor), and stage managers are provided by the stage management class (Tammy Honesty, instructor). Take Note!, Southeast Minnesota’s Showtune Choir, under the direction of Judy Myers, will also perform with the musical theatre workshop.  All are invited to attend.

Humanities and Sciences recognizes faculty scholarship

Dr. Demian Cho 
The School of Humanities and Sciences recognized faculty scholarship within the school on April 29. Presenters included Dr. Rose Beal, “Mystery of the Church, People of God: Yves Congar’s Total Ecclesiology as a Path to Vatican II”; Dr. Demian Cho, “The Big Bang”; Brooke Lenz, “Narrative Fiction, Experience-Talking, and Progressive Male Standpoints”; and Dr. Matthew Rowley, “The Effect of TBX2 Expression on Breast Cancer Development and Progression.”

Tom Farren Golf Outing planned for July 20

The Tom Farren Memorial Golf Outing will be held Sunday, July 20, at Cedar Valley Golf Course. This is the sole fundraiser for the men’s and women’s golf programs and honors former Saint Mary’s golf Coach Tom Farren

It will be a scramble format. Sign-up information and flyer will be available soon.

Seniors display art through May 10

Abigail Osborne

The Saint Mary’s Senior Art Exhibition titled “9 Artistas” will run through Commencement Day Saturday, May 10 in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

Graduating seniors include Kaitlyn Bryant, Andrea Hillesheim, LeiLani Oas, Carla Olivares, Abi Osborne, Sam Pflughoeft, Angie Powell, Chelsea Pumper, and Tommy Robaczewski.

A variety of media is on display, including graphic design, photography, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, paintings and multimedia installations.

News from Nairobi

By James Chege
Maryknoll Institute of African Studies
Editor: Father Michael C. Kirwen, Director

Celebrations at MIASMU

Students and field assistants in a group discussion share their newly discovered insights. The carving is that of elder shucking corn – a metaphor of intellectual harvesting.
Students, field assistants, staff and faculty at the Maryknoll Institute of African gathered on April 14 to mark the end of the second semester of the academic year. The final-day celebration has become a special tradition at MIASMU where everybody comes to reflect and share classroom and field-work experiences of the past 12 weeks.

The day began with the students and field assistants discussing what is currently a hot topic  in Kenya, namely, the newly passed marriage bill which legalizes polygany, while the faculty met in their final meeting of the semester.
Students and field assistants listen attentively to the faculty presentation.s

After a coffee break, the entire group gathered for presentations from each faculty member who gave brief overviews of their courses to encourage students to not only understand the value of the course but also to consider taking it in the next term. After each presentation the lecturer was presented with a gift by one of the students as a token of appreciation for their hard work in teaching and guiding the students.

John Kamanga, a student from the Maasai community, gives instructions to Father Michael Kirwen on the proper use of the spear given to him by Father Simon Kaire.

A surprise gift was in store for the program director and founder. A special spear was presented to him by one of the students, a diocesan priest of 30 years, Father Simon Kaire. The spear originally belonged to his grandfather and was presented to him on his ordination in 1984. The 10-foot spear or itimū in Kikuyu Language is a sign of power, unity, identity and civility among the Kikuyu people, and was used during initiation into adulthood/elderhood ceremonies and as a weapon to drive off evil. It also holds significance as it was carried by the warriors in the community.

During the special presentation, Father Simon indicated that he wished to give the spear to Fr. Michael in recognition of his work in the program and as a sign of gratitute for the wisdom and encouragement he had been given during his stay at MIASMU.

The celebration concluded with a special banquet featuring chicken, nyama choma (roasted
goat meat, a most prized delicacy in Kenya), and ugali (thickly boiled maize flower).

Rosanne Cash to lead outstanding lineup for 2014-15 Page Series

The 28th season of the 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 entertainment. Season subscriptions go on sale May 13. Individual tickets go on sale Aug. 19.

Purchase tickets to three or more events to receive a 10 percent discount for new subscribers; returning 2013-14 subscribers receive 25 percent off the total order. Subscribers also have exchange privileges and guaranteed seating choice.

To order after May 13, go online to or call the Saint Mary’s box office, Ext. 1715, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The 2014-15 Page Series

• Wednesday, Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Rosanne Cash
Singer, songwriter
Tickets: $30 for adults, $27 for seniors and students
Daughter of American icon Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash has blazed a path of her own with thoughtful, heartfelt songs of love, loss, and country living.

• Friday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.
Intergalactic Nemesis by Robot Planet
Live graphic novel
Tickets: $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and students
Drama, humor, science fiction, and audience participation will combine for an evening of theatre magic, using the sound effects of radio drama, super-sized projections of a graphic novel, a live keyboard player, and live actors.

• Tuesday, Oct. 7, 6:30 p.m.
Curious George by Theatreworks USA
A lot of monkeying around
Tickets: $14 for adults, $6 for seniors and students
In this delightful new musical, the inquisitive, lovable little monkey Curious George, star of books, movies and the award-winning PBS television show, works to help his friend win the world-famous Golden Meatball Contest in Rome.

• Thursday, Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m.
The Creole Choir of Cuba
Stories of Haitian ancestors
Tickets: $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and students
This vibrant 10-piece group — five men and five women who dance when they sing — are a cornucopia of remarkable voices.

• Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
Janet’s Planet
Explore the universe
Tickets: $14 for adults, $6 for seniors and students
Explore the vast universe with PBS’s “Janet’s Planet” by focusing on science, technology, engineering, art and math.

• Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Hector Del Curto Quintet
Argentinean Tango
Tickets: $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and students
The Argentinean Tango has been in the Del Curto family since the early 1900s. Hector Del Curto’s great grandfather was a bandoneonist and composer, and his grandfather, also a great bandoneon player, introduced Hector to the world of Tango and the bandoneon. Del Curto has captivated audiences around the world.

• Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
Monkey Mind Pirates by Z Puppets Rosenschnoz
Pirates and puppets
Tickets: $14 for adults, $6 for seniors and students
This is the world’s only puppet, rock, yoga opera for families in search of calm. Based in Minneapolis, Z Puppets tours their family-friendly comedies across the country.

• Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
TU Dance Company
Powerful contemporary dance
Tickets: $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and students
The Twin Cities-based TU Dance Company culminates a three-day residency with a full evening performance. Modern dance, classical ballet, African-based and urban vernacular movements are combined in inventive and unpredictable ways.

• Monday, March 16, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Cherish the Ladies
Celtic Music
Tickets: $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and students
This Celtic musical group, Cherish The Ladies, takes their name from the name of a traditional Irish jig. The group initially won recognition 25 years ago as the first and only all-women traditional Irish band. With their unique spectacular blend of virtuosi instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing, this powerhouse group combines all the facets of Irish traditional culture and does so with humor and entertaining stories.