Thursday, August 4, 2011

Convocation Day is Aug. 24 on Twin Cities campus

This year, University Convocation Day is Wednesday, Aug. 24, on the Twin Cities campus in the newly acquired Harrington Mansion and Saint Mary’s Event Center.

The morning session will be highlighted by remarks from Brother William and Dr. Margaret Wheatley, keynote speaker. Dr. Wheatley received her doctorate in Organizational Behavior and Change from Harvard University and a master’s in Media Ecology from New York University. She has been an organizational consultant since 1973, a global citizen since her youth and a professor in two graduate programs. She focuses on how we can accomplish our work, sustain our relationships, and willingly step forward to serve. She has written seven books and numerous articles appearing in both professional and popular journals.

In the afternoon Dr. Wheatley will have a presentation on the University Strategic Planning process and Brother William will give closing remarks.

Buses will depart at 7 a.m. from the front of the Toner Center and will leave the Twin Cities at 3 p.m.

Saint Mary’s receives ‘Best in Midwest’ honors from Princeton Review

Saint Mary’s is one of 153 schools receiving the “Best in the Midwest” designation for 2012 from the Princeton Review, a national college guide and ranking program. Results were announced this week.

Each year, the Princeton Review profiles colleges and universities that “stand out as academically excellent institutions of higher learning.” The Princeton Review survey asks students to rate their own schools on a variety of issues — from the accessibility of their professors to quality of the campus food — and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students, and their campus life. The Princeton Review is a New York City-based company known for test-preparation courses, education services and books; it is not affiliated with Princeton University.

The 629 colleges named regional bests (220 in the Northeast, 135 in the Southeast, 153 in the Midwest, and 121 in the West) represent only about 25 percent of the nation's 2,500 four-year colleges.

For more information, go to

Saint Mary’s hosts LVs Ride participants

Saint Mary’s hosted and sponsored the LVs (Lasallian Volunteers) Ride, a cross-country bike ride that is raising money to end poverty in our nation’s underserved communities.

The proceeds of the LVs Ride — which routes from Astoria, Ore., to Long Branch, N.J. — will go to Lasallian Volunteers, a full-time volunteer program serving the nation’s most neglected communities. Lasallian Volunteers is a program of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, and provides dedicated, well-trained volunteers for one or more years of service to schools and agencies whose mission is to serve the poor. Lasallian Volunteers provide over 100,000 hours of service and serve over 8,215 children and families each year.

One SMU alumna, Glenna Kryzyanowski, is joining approximately 14 other LVs Ride participants for the coast-to-coast trip.

A leg of their journey brought the bikers through Winona July 22-24. Saint Mary’s invited the public to meet participants and learn more about Lasallian Volunteers during a picnic on the plaza July 23.

Countdown to College ends Aug. 6

Students in the second-year cohort of Countdown to College got out on the Mississippi River while enjoying a day at SMU's Prairie Island Field Station.

Saint Mary’s will say goodbye to the students participating in Countdown to College on Aug. 6. This two-week program for students from under-resourced communities is offered to students each year for four years, beginning just after they complete eighth grade and continuing until they reach college age — helping to assure each student is prepared for a successful college experience.

Lueck to compete in Dancing with Winona Stars

Forty local “stars” — including Terrie Lueck, director of conferencing and camps — are getting ready to dance the night away for charity this summer during the third annual Dancing with Winona Stars Saturday, Aug. 13, at Gostomski Fieldhouse. The pre-show begins at 7 p.m., and the competition begins at 7:30 p.m.

Lueck and her dance partner Kenyatta Blount will dance freestyle to “2012 (It ain’t the end)” by Jay Sean and Nicki Minaj.

Lueck is raising money for the First-Generation Initiative.

The First-Generation Initiative is designed to offer academic and personal support to first-generation college students. As part of this initiative, support structures have been put in place at SMU so that students may reach their full potential and complete their bachelor’s degrees. Thirteen First-Generation students have completed their first year of studies at SMU; this fall the university will welcome 16 additional students.

“I went into this thinking I would be dancing ballroom style. Dancing freestyle is definitely out of my comfort zone, but that seems very appropriate considering the organization I am raising money for,” Lueck said.

“The students I am representing are also moving beyond their comfort zone as they come to Saint Mary’s as first-generation college students in their families. They don’t have the benefit of asking family members how to prepare for the experience they are about to embark on. Some have never left home, some have language barriers, many struggle economically and some are socially challenged,” Lueck said.

“This has been a challenge for me and a lot of hard work, just as it will be in the fall for these First Generation students. I hope they find it to be as enjoyable as I have!”

Half of the proceeds from the event benefit the non-profit selected by each “star.” The remaining 50 percent supports members of the Competition Dance Team at Gotta Dance.

Votes are $1 apiece. You can cast your vote with the star, through the charity (First -Generation Initiative at Saint Mary's University), or with a Gotta Dance competition student or parent, or send your vote into Gotta Dance/DWWS 1733 Service Dr., Winona, MN 55987.

Checks for both tickets and votes should be made out to Gotta Dance. For charitable giving, you can write in the memo “50% for First- Generation Initiative. This memo should be noted only for checks made out for votes. Ticket sales do not apply to this charitable status. Voting canisters are also located at various locations throughout the community.

Last year over 1,000 people attended the show and more than $10,000 was raised for local charities.

This year’s event will feature 11 individual stars dancing with Gotta Dance Instructors and five star groups that will be performing a variety of styles from rhumba to hip hop.

General admission is $10 in advance or $20 at the door. Seating starts at 7 p.m. Early admission is $25 and includes admission from 5 to 6:30 p.m., hors d’oeuvres and access to a cash bar. Reserved tables are available for $250. This price includes seating for eight, early admission, hors d’oeuvres and the cash bar.

For more information, visit or call Gotta Dance at (507) 474-7077.

Lallaman’s research may be featured on ‘Monster Fish’

Part of Joshua Lallaman’s (Biology Department) dissertation research at the University of Missouri will potentially be featured in an National Geographic TV episode of “Monster Fish.”  Last year, just prior to starting at SMU, Lallaman took a camera crew from National Geographic out on the Osage River, Mo., to film some of his research.

Lallaman has not seen the episode but believes a small part of his research on paddlefish reproduction may be included in the episode footage. The air dates are scheduled for Friday, Aug 12, at 9 p.m. and Friday, Aug 19, at 8 and 11 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.

Ice cream social raises over $230 for CTIE

The old-fashioned ice cream social on Thursday, July 28, raised $230.25 for CTIE in Nairobi. Lance Thompson won the cherry pit spitting contest, and Pat Beech and Tami Lubinski won the water balloon toss. Thanks go to everyone who made pies and to everyone who came to enjoy the social.

The Winona Volunteer Committee will continue to host events throughout the school year to benefit our Nairobi campus.

An anonymous trustee has issued a challenge. If the Winona Volunteer Committee can raise $3,000 for CTIE, he will mach the donation with another $3,000. The same challenge has been issued to the Twin Cities campus. If they raise $1,250, he will match that donation as well. This is just a little extra incentive to be generous — together, we’ll be able to assist countless students.

Jazz notes

Swing Inc. performs Fridays from 7 to 10 p.m. at Signatures.

The John Paulson Jazz Duo performs Saturday, Aug. 20 at Salem Glen Vineyard & Winery in Rochester.

The John Paulson Jazz Quartet performs 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Starlite Lounge in La Crosse.

‘Campus Notes’ will continue every other Friday

“Campus Notes” will continue every other Friday during the summer including Aug. 19 and weekly thereafter. The deadline for each issue is noon the previous Wednesday.