Thursday, August 15, 2013

Saint Mary's to host veterans roundtable discussion Aug. 26

Saint Mary’s University and Sen. Amy Klobuchar are inviting federal and state veterans affairs leaders and higher education leaders for a roundtable discussion on the challenges and opportunities for veterans returning to Minnesota.

The special focus of a guest panel will be to help veterans achieve their education and workforce skills development goals; a discussion will focus on what policy changes can be enacted to improve their ability to receive post-military service education.

The roundtable is Monday, Aug. 26, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the University Center on the Twin Cities campus.

Panelists will include:
• Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
• Commissioner Larry Shellito, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs
• Carin Anderson, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs education liaison
• Captain Aaron Oelschlager, Minnesota National Guard
• Alison Block, director of student services at Saint Mary's
• Gina Sobania, military education academic credit director at MnSCU
• Julie Selander, director of OneStop at the University of Minnesota
• Jacqueline Mahon, Saint Mary's student and Minnesota Air National Guard member

Following the roundtable discussion, the audience will participate in table discussions to provide insights and develop recommendations for policy changes that can enhance veterans’ access to and success in higher education.

The event is free and open to legislators, veterans affairs personnel, veterans, higher education audiences, and Saint Mary's University community members.

To register or for more information, visit

Welcome back students and faculty!

The school year is upon us; student and parent check-in is 7:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. The President’s Welcome begins at 1 p.m. in the gymnasium, and a full weekend of events are planned. For more information, go to

University Convocation Day is Wednesday

University Convocation Day activities, which will kick off our 2013-2014 academic year, will be Wednesday, Aug. 21, on the Winona campus.

The morning session will be highlighted by remarks from Brother William and keynote speaker Brother Robert Bimonte, FSC. In March 2013, Brother Robert was named the president of the National Catholic Education Association, an organization that serves more than 6,500 Catholic education institutions and 150,000 Catholic educators in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, religious education programs, seminaries, and colleges and universities. Brother Robert’s keynote address will address excellent teaching and engaged student learning. The morning session will also include an introduction to the HLC re-accreditation process. Following lunch, Brother Robert will present an interactive workshop on brain-compatible learning.

Community picnic scheduled for Aug. 22

Faculty and staff and their families are invited to the Winona campus community picnic on Thursday, Aug. 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. The picnic, sponsored by Brother William, is given in appreciation of the hard work and dedication of the members of our campus community. All employees of Saint Mary’s University, their partners, and children are invited.

Food and beverages will be served in the Hall of Fame room in the Toner Student Center from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be seating in the Hall of Fame Room and the Plaza will also be available.

The inflatable Bounce House and Log Jam will be available in the Gostomski Fieldhouse. The RAC and pool will be open from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Please RSVP to Barb Schmidtknecht.

Few State Fair slots still remain

Thanks to those who have already volunteered to staff the Saint Mary’s booth at the Minnesota State Fair Aug. 22 - Sept. 2 in St. Paul. There are still some choice shifts available and we need your help. There are two slots to fill for each shift; go to You can sign up any time before Labor Day. Fair tickets are free, and you will be reimbursed for mileage and parking.

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

Saint Mary’s University is one of 155 schools receiving the “Best in the Midwest” designation for 2014 from the Princeton Review, a national college guide and ranking program.

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 643 colleges named regional bests (225 in the Northeast, 138 in the Southeast, 155 in the Midwest, and 125 in the West) represent only about 25 percent of the nation's 2,500 four-year colleges.

For more information, go to

Watch for SMU float in Goodview Days Parade

As part of our community visibility efforts, SMU will participate in the Goodview Days Parade at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18. Watch for a large group of resident assistants who will represent Saint Mary’s and hand out SMU sunglasses!

SMU ‘In the News’

Here are just a few ways Saint Mary’s is making the news this summer:

• Dr. David Lynch was interviewed Sunday by Roshini Rajkumar, host of News & Views on WCCO-AM (noon-3 p.m. on Sundays). They discussed current political hot topics including the next presidential election. To hear the interview, go to His segment begins at 10:30.

•Dr. Ray Faber, biology, was featured in the article “Studying Gulls on Big Sister Island” in the late summer 2013 edition of Door County Living.

• In the Kenyan newspaper, there was a feature on Brother Paulos Welday, FSC, director of Christ the Teacher Institute for Education (CTIE) in Nairobi. Check it out at:

• Saint Mary’s is mentioned in an article titled “Applying ‘best practices’ to Catholic parishes and nonprofits” in America Magazine. Go to

• Tony Calabrese, Department of Art and Design, is featured in the Rochester Post Bulletin article “Back Roads: Photo project shoots for a better Wykoff.” Check it out at

Be aware of mail delays

Recent changes with the U.S. Postal Service have created a delay in mail service. Mail that is sent through Winona Central Services is picked up promptly at 1 p.m. daily (Monday through Friday), but is not postmarked until the next day. Mail delivery is now taking three or more days to get to the Twin Cities. Express Mail will not be guaranteed for overnight delivery unless you take it to the post office by 2 p.m.

SMU Concert Band invites area musicians to join

Area musicians who love band music are invited to the Saint Mary’s Concert Band’s first rehearsal of the season on Monday, Aug. 26, from 6:45 to 8 p.m. The Concert Band was founded in 1990 as a college-community partnership ensemble and is directed by Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, professor of music and music education.

Rehearsals are held in Saint Yon’s Hall (Room 158). All interested musicians are welcome to attend the first sight-reading informational rehearsal of the season. Advanced high school students, students from Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical who were active in their high school bands, and experienced adult community musicians are welcome to join the SMU collegiate members for an exciting season. The band performs a wide variety of repertoire that includes a world-premiere performance this fall of a composition titled “Katanya,” composed by Larry Bitensky. The new piece was composed for the SMU band through the Kaplan Foundation Commissioning Project.  This delightful new work is for narrator and concert band, and brings us a traditional Jewish folk tale through words and music.

Placement auditions will be individually scheduled; audition music will be given to all players on Aug. 26. If you are interested in the ensemble but cannot attend the initial “info-rehearsal,” please contact Dr. Heukeshoven to make other arrangements. The Concert Band rehearses 6:45 to 8 p.m. Mondays, and 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays. The band’s first performance this year will be the annual Family Weekend Concert (shared with the SMU choirs) on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Detailed information regarding band membership and the auditions (held Aug. 28-31) will be available at the first rehearsal. There is a place for you in the band; contact Dr. Heukeshoven at Ext. 1675 or email at for additional information and to reserve a spot for you at the first rehearsal. If you leave a message, please specify which instrument you play, as well as your full name and contact information.

Study abroad student produces YouTube video

Saint Mary’s study abroad student Zach Palma was one of the students who created videos as part of a workshop hosted by HECUA and conducted by the Center for Digital Story Telling, July 28-31, in Saint Paul. The student storytellers have created powerful, first-person videos about the challenges and inspirations of learning in community with others. Check out Palma’s Ecuador experience at

Residence Life staff visits sister Lasallian institution

As part of the annual hall director training, the professional staff in the Office of Residence Life went on retreat at Lasalle Manor in Plano, Ill., to focus on developing a vibrant residential experience for their residents and to immerse themselves in the work of student affairs at a Lasallian Catholic college.

To assist in this training, they visited Lewis University where they networked and shared insights into best practices with colleagues in residence life at Lewis. They toured the residence halls and had a training session with the Office of Residence Life staff at Lewis, discussing residence life at Lasallian colleges and universities. The SMSU Residence Life staff hopes to offer the same opportunity to their Lewis colleagues.

Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts news

Minnesota State Arts Board funding

For the 2014 fiscal year, the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts has been awarded funding in the form of an Operating Support grant allowing the organization to continue to provide arts-based learning opportunities and programming to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds in Southeast Minnesota.

In 2010 and 2011 MCA was awarded funding through the State Arts Board’s Community Arts Schools and Conservatories grant division, and for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 years MCA was awarded formulary and merit-based funding for operating support. The consistent funding support by the Minnesota State Arts Board acknowledges MCA as a leader in community arts education for the state of Minnesota.

The Minnesota State Arts Board funding will help support and expand MCA’s current programming in dance, music, visual art and theatre for children and youth. Furthermore, the grant will allow MCA to venture into new community outreach projects, expand its visual art and theatre divisions, grow the Adult Arts Wellness program, and remain fiscally responsible with balanced budgets.

In the 2013, MCA employed 30 teaching artists and served more than 600 local children/youth as well as more than 100 adult students. Additionally, more than 6,650 people attended dance and music performances and outreach events produced by MCA.

Open house Sept. 4

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will be conducting its fall registration open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 W. 10th St.

MCA offers programming in dance, music, visual art and theatre year-round. Classes, lessons, workshops and camps are offered for youth ages 3 and older through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center.

Register early for:

New art division classes including “Architecture for Kids” and “Drawing 101.”
Dance programming in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, hip hop and tap with new course divisions.
Private music lessons with talented teaching artists.
New partner workshops with the Minnesota Marine Art Museum and Great River Shakespeare Festival.
Advanced training for those serious about dance with an additional Ballet V/VI/VII class.
New adult wellness classes including folk music workshops, “Intro to Guitar,” “Self Portrait Workshop,” and “Belly Dancing for Beginners.”

Class days, times and tuition vary.  Financial need-based scholarships are available. For a brochure and a complete listing, visit, e-mail, “like” them on Facebook, or call (507) 453-5500. Interested students may register online, by mail, or in person at MCA’s Valéncia Arts Center.

Carter Briggs, a Dance Repertory Company student, practices his hip hop moves.
DRC II auditions Sept. 5

Auditions for the Dance Repertory Company II will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 W. 10th St.

The DRC II will present a winter dance concert Dec. 6-7 at the Valéncia Arts Center Academy Theatre. Roles are available for beginning- and intermediate-level dance students ages 5 to 13. Auditions are free and open to the public. DRC II members are required to enroll in at least one dance class at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts. A $50 performance fee is required. For more information, contact MCA Director of Dance Tammy Schmidt at or call (507) 453-5500.

‘Campus Notes’ goes weekly

The faculty/staff newsletter will now resume its weekly Friday edition. Deadlines are noon Wednesdays. Send information to

Death notice for Brother Jeffrey Gros

Brother Jeffrey Gros, 75, died in Chicago on Aug. 12. Brother Jeffery graduated from Saint Mary’s College in 1959 and was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary's University in 2011 during Founder’s Day. He was a well-respected teacher and scholar. Brother Jeffery was recognized internationally for his works in the area of ecumenism.

Services will be held in Romeoville, Ill., Saturday, Aug. 17. Notes of condolence may be sent to Sr. Joye Gros, OP, 4928 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63018. The Saint Mary’s community extends its prayers to Brother Jeffery and his family.