Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Updates from December visits of Kenyan directors

Brother Larry Humphrey, left, and Brother William, greet Brother Paulos Mesmer, right, and Father Michael Kirwen, second from left.
The Volunteer Committee presents a check to Brother Paulos.
The Campus Mission Awareness group presents a check to Brother Paulos.

SMU presents funding for scholarships

SMU’s two directors from its programs in Nairobi, Kenya visited the university in December for annual meetings and interaction with the SMU community.

Brother Paulos Mesmer, director of Christ the Teacher Institute for African Studies of SMU, and associate dean and associate professor of education, spent 10 days at the university meeting with administrators, presenting new proposed curriculum to the SGPP Curriculum Committee, and interacting with staff and students.

Father Michael Kirwen, director of the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies of SMU and associate dean, spent seven days at the university meeting with administrators, faculty and staff on issues related to the Institute.

Both colleagues attended the SGPP Christmas Luncheon and the Winona Campus Christmas Dinner, as well as a reception and African art sale.

The SMU community presented $5,000 to Brother Paulos Mesmer for student scholarships, as part of the Friends of CTIE fundraising activities. The Winona Campus Volunteer Committee presented $3,000; the SGPP Campus Spirituality Team presented $1,250; and the Campus Ministry Mission Awareness Committee presented $700. Additionally, an anonymous donor provided a donation of $4,250 to match those funds raised by SMU employee groups.

Father Michael Kirwen was presented $1,000 for student scholarships from a fundraising effort this past fall. Both Brother Paulos and Father Michael extended their thanks to the SMU community for the engagement and support, and indicated that their visit was again productive and affirming of their affiliation with SMU.

Page Series welcomes Yuval Ron Ensemble Jan. 24

The Yuval Ron Ensemble will enlighten audiences with a mystical, spiritual and inspiring musical celebration Tuesday, Jan. 24, at Saint Mary’s University. This Page Series event is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the SMU Performance Center.

The ensemble endeavors to alleviate national, racial, religious and cultural divides by uniting the music and dance of the opposing people of the Middle East. Throughout the program — “Seeker Of Truth” — the ensemble will perform the ecstatic music of the mystical Sufi traditions of the Middle East and Pakistan with the Whirling Dervish Aziz.

These Jewish and Arabic musicians, as well as Christian Armenian artists, have been actively involved in creating musical bridges between people of various faiths and ethnic groups worldwide. Led by Oscar-winning composer Yuval Ron (who composed music for “West Bank Story,” the Oscar-winning musical-parody of “West Side Story”) the ensemble features the oud, harmonium and woodwinds.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students and are available online at or by calling the SMU Box Office, Ext. 1715, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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.

Additionally, members of the ensemble will present a lecture and demonstration about the history of their instruments, including the oud, from 9th Century Bagdad to Andalusia. Several songs will be performed. This event – free and open to the public – will be held 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, at the Winona County History Center, 160 Johnson St. These “Page in History” events are made possible through funding from the Xcel Energy Foundation and Winona Community Foundation.

Faculty to display diverse art Jan. 19-March 18

Seven faculty members from Saint Mary’s University’s Department of Art & Design will exhibit their work Jan. 19 through March 18 at SMU’s Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

The show, “Verisimilitude,” includes work by Tony Calabrese, Charlie Campbell, Preston Lawing, Rob McColl, Brother Roderick Robertson, Lisa Truax and John Whelan.

An opening reception will be held 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at the galleries.

The exhibit — free and open to the public — will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

SMU 10K events planned for Jan. 29 and Feb. 19

This year the SMU 10K cross-country ski race will be held twice — on Sunday, Jan. 29, and Sunday, Feb. 19, at Saint Mary’s University. Details of the Feb. 19 event will be announced at a later date.

On Jan. 29, the public is invited to the classic-style citizens’ ski event at 10 a.m., and a skate race will begin at 1 p.m.

Both races wind through the beautiful and challenging bluffs and valleys surrounding the Saint Mary’s campus. Tickets are $10 for one race or $20 for both races. Medals will be awarded for men and women in open and recreational classes.

For more information or to receive a registration form, call Gary Borash at Ext. 8740 or e-mail

History Book Prizes announced

Since 1995, the Department of History has awarded book prizes to recognize students for outstanding work in history courses. The following students were chosen for their work during fall semester:

• Christine Volk and Hannah Schwarze won the book prizes for H111 Global History to 1500.
• Andrew Meyer won for H112 Global History since 1500.
• Matthew Pysh was recognized for his work in H113 U. S. History to 1865.
• Loren Galloway won the book prize for H305 Colonial and Revolutionary America.
• In H355 U.S. Women’s History, Anna Sonday was awarded the prize.
• Peter McColl won for H381 Revolutionary Russia.
• David Spriegel was recognized for his work in H390 Modern China.
• In H270 Historical Thinking, Peter McColl was the prize winner.
• Anna Sonday was the book prize recipient in H450 History without Boundaries.
• David Spriegel was the winner in H470 Senior Thesis.

Caballero awarded scholarship from HECUA

Desiree Caballero, a junior from Faribault, Minn., was awarded a $220 scholarship from the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) for her study in Ecuador this coming spring. One of several scholarships HECUA offers, the Diversity Award is a competitive scholarship based on a student essay, academic performance, and need. Caballero is working toward a double-major in Human Services and Spanish.

May to exhibit in Las Vegas

Monta May will have three pieces of mosaic and sculpture in a multi-artist nature-inspired abstract art exhibit in the LaChica Art & Music gallery in Las Vegas during the month of February 2012. May also will be exhibiting at LaChica Art & Music with her own show in June 2012, and will be featured at the gallery for the June First Friday Las Vegas arts event.

Located in the Arts Factory, LaChica Art & Music is just a few blocks north of the Las Vegas Strip in the heart of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas.

For more information, visit, or

Sympathy to Collins, Ochrymowycz families

Brother Michael Collins, FSC ’59, M’65, Ed.D., a current and long-time Saint Mary’s University trustee, died from cancer on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012.

Visitation will be Friday from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. (with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m.) at DeLaSalle High School. The funeral Mass will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis (with visitation one hour before Mass). A reception at DeLaSalle High School will follow the Mass.

On Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, Jane Ochrymowycz, former director of the Academic Skills Center, passed away after a lengthy illness. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 12, at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 4537 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis. Visitation is one hour prior to service. A luncheon will immediately follow. A bus has been chartered from Winona for the service. Departure will be at 8 a.m. Park at Main and Belleview streets. Please call Shannon Hanzel at (507) 454-5388, to reserve a seat.

The Saint Mary’s community extends its sympathy to these families.