Friday, January 16, 2015

Saint Mary’s online graduate programs recognized nationally

Saint Mary’s offers students exceptional online graduate programs. The 2015 U.S. News & World Report Best Online Program rankings, released recently, include Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota as a top school in its “Best Online Programs: Business        (Graduate)” category (

“As we strive to make education accessible to adult learners, we have increased our online educational offerings,” said Brother Robert Smith, vice president for the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs. “Our goal is to provide a quality, personalized experience that meets the needs of today’s learners, and being recognized by U.S. News is proof that we are successful in our efforts.”

Saint Mary’s achieved a spot (74th) in U.S. News’ national rankings in the online graduate business programs category with favorable scores in student engagement, admission selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, student services, and technology.

Online graduate business programs offered at Saint Mary’s include the M.A. in Human Resource Management, the M.A. in Organizational Leadership, the M.S. in Project Management, and the new M.S. in Accountancy and M.A. in International Development programs.

Saint Mary’s also offers exceptional online graduate programs in education and health and human services. They include the M.A. in Health and Human Services Administration, the M.A. in Educational Leadership, the M.A. in Special Education, and the M.Ed. in Learning Design and Technology.

Campus Ministry hosts events celebrating Martin Luther King

The Offices of Student Life, Student Activities, and Campus Ministry are hosting a variety of events planned for Saturday through Tuesday, Jan. 17-20, in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Jan. 17

Day of Service: “Living Faith and Seeking Justice.” In commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Saint Mary’s student Volunteer Mentors will participatie in a service day in collaboration with the Catholic Worker communities of Winona and Lake City.

Jan. 18

Sunday Eucharist: “Here I Am, Lord: Martin Luther King and Prophetic Christian Witness,” 10:30 a.m. and 9 p.m., Saint Thomas More Chapel. Using the scriptures offered by the Church for this day—the call of Samuel and the call of the first disciples—the community will reflect on the life of the man who became America’s most well-known Christian prophet and martyr because of his work as the mouthpiece of a movement rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jan. 19

Audio Recording: “The Drum Major Instinct,” noon, Toner Student Center dining room. Given on Feb. 4, 1968, “The Drum Major Instinct” was one of the last sermons ever given by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before his tragic death on April 4. He warned and encouraged a congregation about the real work of social justice and Christian living: service. An audio recording of a slightly abridged version of the sermon will be played in the dining room during lunch.
Film: “Fruitvale Station,” 9 p.m., Salvi Lecture Hall. This is a critically acclaimed and award-winning 2013 film based on the true story of a fateful encounter between a young black man and a public transit police officer on the BART in San Francisco in the early hours of New Years Day, 2009.

Jan. 20

Panel: “#BlackLivesMatter: The Unfinished Business of the Civil Rights Movement,” 7 p.m., Toner Student Center lounge. Tragic events across the country have ignited a news-making series of protests and demonstrations concerning relations between law enforcement officers and the African American community, especially young black men. Saint Mary's University’s annual celebration of the unparalleled legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. provides the perfect moment for students, faculty, staff and community members to discuss the meaning and trajectory of “#BlackLivesMatter” and its relationship to work of the civil rights movement.

Prayer: “Walk With Me: Night Prayer of Lamentation and Hope,” 8:45 p.m., President’s Room, Toner Student Center. Structured within the ancient Christian tradition of Compline (night prayer), the Saint Mary’s community will gather blending psalms, scripture, gospel music and the words of Dr. King to express both sorrow for the unfinished work of racial equality in America and hope that Christ continues to light the way toward a more just society.

Page Series presents Argentinean music Jan. 28

The Page Series will present a concert of Argentinean tango music featuring bandoneon star Héctor Del Curto Wednesday, Jan. 28.

The New York Times has praised Del Curto as “a splendid player” with “wistful, piercing solos on the bandoneon.” Del Curto has captivated audiences around the world as a soloist and chamber musician, sharing the stage with world-renowned tango legends, as well as with symphony orchestras and ballet companies worldwide.

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 Héctor to the world of tango and the bandoneon. By the age of 17, Hector Del Curto had won the title “Best Bandoneon Player Under 25” in Argentina, and was invited to join the orchestra of the legendary Osvaldo Pugliese, the “Last Giant of Tango.”

Music will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Page Theatre. Tickets are $27 for adults, $24 for students and seniors and are available at the box office, Ext. 1715 Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. or online at

Saint Mary’s 10K event Jan. 25 cancelled

This year’s Saint Mary’s 10K Nordic ski races which had been planned for Sunday, Jan. 25, at Saint Mary’s, have been cancelled because of lack of snow. Watch for news of another attempt later in the season when conditions may be more favorable.

‘X Factor’ finalist Tim Olstad to perform Jan. 23

Tim Olstad, a top 10 finalist from the third season of FOX’s “The X Factor” returns to his hometown of Winona Jan. 23 for an evening of soulful originals and cover songs that showcase the versatility of one of America’s best loved up and coming male vocalists.

The event, part of the Off the Page Series, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Page Theatre. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students and are available at or at the box office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

Cardinal Plunge Feb. 7 to raise money for alumna

Brave souls and warm hearts are invited to join Saint Mary’s University for the sixth annual “Cardinal Plunge” noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Lake Lodge Recreation Center, in coordination with the Winter Carnival Goose Bump Jump.

This year, Cardinal Plunge participants will again be freezin’ for a reason. Proceeds will be given to Juliana Piscitiello, a 2006 Saint Mary’s alumna who was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a genetic, auto-immune disease and a chronic progressive form of arthritis which is destroying her spine. Piscitiello, former part-time faculty member at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, has enjoyed ballet since the age of 3 and has assisted with dance choreography on campus. Funds will be used to assist with the expense of her ongoing therapy, much of which is needed to reduce the severity of her painful symptoms. She could also benefit from adaptive equipment.

She is the daughter of Kathy (Ordahl) CST’70 Piscitiello and Tony Piscitiello ’69, senior advancement director at Saint Mary’s.

The cost to plunge is $20 ($15 for the Saint Mary’s community). Registration runs from 11:30 a.m. to noon, and a silent auction will be held inside the lodge between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Saint Mary’s Future Alumni Committee.

Pre-register online at For more information, contact Alex Bilski at 507-457-6675 or Conner Ellinghuysen at 507-429-7960.

MCA announces Jan. 17 auditions for dance concert

Auditions for “AbunDANCE: A Woman’s Influence,” the 2015 Dance Repertory Company spring concert, will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 W. 10th St.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts’ Dance Repertory Company will present its annual spring dance concert April 16-18 at Page Theatre. Roles for male and female intermediate and advanced dancers in tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, contemporary ballet, and Irish dance are available for youth ages 12 and older through adults.

Dancers should bring a current photo and appropriate audition shoes for their choice of dance style. Students under the age of 21 who are cast are required to be enrolled in at least one dance class at MCA, Saint Mary’s, or Winona State. A $75 performance fee is required.

This spring’s production will focus on women’s contributions to the world of dance and feature a variety of dance forms.

For more information, contact MCA director of dance Tammy Schmidt at or call 507-453-5500.

Hot chili cookoff competition is Feb. 5

The competition’s getting hot! No beans about it, the Volunteer Committee believes this is a great fundraiser!

Test your award-winning chili in the annual faculty/staff chili cookoff on Thursday, Feb. 5. Prizes will be awarded to the top three chillis.

Please let Deb Nahrgang (Ext. 6966 or know if you plan to enter the contest, so we can be sure we have enough to go around.

Then, just bring your “unmarked” crockpot to the Common Room by 11 to 11:15 a.m. Everyone is invited to eat chili between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Proceeds will go to CTIE in Nairobi.

Saint Mary's holds first History Day Hullabaloo

About 100 area intermediate and junior high school students used the Fitzgerald Library during the first-ever History Day Hullabaloo Jan. 8.

“National History Day” coordinated the event and Saint Mary’s hosted the Southeast Region project. Saint Mary’s and WSU students served as “mentors” for this event, and faculty and library staff assisted these young students in their research. It was a great opportunity to get students excited about history and for us to share the university’s library facilities.

Branding update

One key component of successful brand implementation is strategic storytelling. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota now has one core brand message and four supporting brand messages. Together we need to tell stories that align with our new key brand messages. Please share your ideas for stories around the following messages on an ongoing basis with Deb Nahrgang in the Marketing and Communication Office, or Ext. 6966:

1. It's Who Knows You

2. The Saint Mary’s Moment

3. Defining “Forward”

4. Where You Are Matters

5. We Open the World to You

For more information on each of these key brand messages, refer to the Brand Book, one of the many resources available to you as a university employee at In addition to the Brand Book, this website includes templates for posters and newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, Writing and Visual Identity style guides, downloadable university logos, and more. Please share your branding ideas and questions with Assistant VP for Brand Management Stacia Vogel ( or 612-728-5119).

Opening reception for ‘Saint Mary's Creates’ is Jan. 22

The opening reception for “Saint Mary’s Creates,” the art show featuring works from faculty, staff, and administration, will be 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, at the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries. Come and check out the talents of your colleagues.

Truax receives grant to support summer exhibition

Lisa Truax, Department of Art and Design, will be receiving a 2015 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in Visual Arts to support her solo exhibition next summer at the Austin ArtWorks Professional Gallery.

Leung returns from recruiting, performing in Kenya

Dr. Chun Chim (David) Leung, Music Department, has recently returned from Kenya. He visited Tangaza University again, performing at their Christmas carols service and meeting with various faculty members and music students.  He also conducted three Christmas concerts of Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with the Saint Paul chapel choir and orchestra of University of Nairobi. The last concert on Dec. 21 was broadcast on national television to the East African countries for more than 5 million viewers.

Schild to read from poetry collection Feb. 3

Steve Schild, Communication, will read from his recent poetry collection “Eros in Autumn” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, at the Book Shelf, 162 W. 2nd St., Winona.

Schild’s poetry has appeared in a number of literary venues including Elysian Fields Quarterly, ArtWord Quarterly and Whiskey Island Magazine as well as the anthologies 33 Minnesota Poets, Witness, and Growing Season.

An open mic will follow Schild’s reading, which is part of the Laureate Reading Series.

Sympathy to Krage, Drazkowski families

Joyce Krage died Jan. 11; she worked for over 20 years with our community, first at the College of Saint Teresa and then later at Saint Mary’s in the cafeteria and Cotter Cafe.

Visitation is 3 to 6 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 18, at Hoff Celebration of Life Center in Goodview. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 19, with visitation one hour prior, at Hoff Celebration of Life Center. Memories and condolences can be shared with her family at

Helen Drazkowski died Jan. 9. She is the mother-in-law of Sue Drazkowski (campus safety) and grandmother of Carrie Jones ’99, C’00, M’05 and Jon Cada (maintenance). Messages of condolence can be sent to Sue Drazkowski and family at campus box 71.