Thursday, May 31, 2007

Conservatory announces summer schedule

WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts at the Valéncia Arts Center will offer summer programming June 4 – Aug. 4.

Community classes and camps are offered for anyone ages 4 through adults and include:

Dance Day Camp - Dance Me a Story

June 11-15; 1 to 4 p.m.; Ages 4-8; tuition, $100
Includes ballet, jazz, creative movement, and performing in a final showcase
Dance Day Camp - Dance The Day Away
June 18-22; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Ages 9-12; tuition, $150
Includes ballet, jazz, modern, choreography, theory courses, and performing in a final showcase
Teen/Adult Workshops
June 4, 11, 18, and 25; tuition varies
Class offerings will include: dance fitness, piyo, and clogging
Intermediate/Advanced Workshops
June 11-22; tuition varies
Class offerings will include: ballet/pointe, tap, jazz, modern, and hip hop
Boys Workshops
July 23-26; 11 a.m. to noon; Ages 8-16; tuition, $40.
Study with visiting guest artists Allen Fields and Tony Smith
Theatre Day Camp – “The Pied Piper”
July 30-Aug. 4; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; for children entering grades one through nine; tuition, $150.
Includes: acting, voice, movement and performing in “The Pied Piper”
Study with professional actors from Gilmore Creek Summer Theatre and Missoula Children’s Theatre
"Summer dance and theatre camps are a great extracurricular activity for youth, helping them build self-esteem, creating a daily venue for movement and exercise, and offering a great place to meet new friends," said Christine Martin, managing director of MCA.

The Conservatory summer dance classes also offer excellent opportunities for adults. All adult classes are held during the evenings. Additionally, workshops in ballet/pointe, tap, jazz, modern, and hip hop for intermediate and advanced teens and college-aged students are available.

Tuition for summer classes varies depending on class length and level. Dance Technique for Boys can be registered for at no charge through MCA’s tuition free boys programs.

Registration for summer classes, workshops and camps is currently being accepted at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at Vila and Howard streets, Winona.

For more information and registration materials, visit, e-mail or call (507) 453-5500.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is an affiliate program of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

Conservatory announces adult classes

WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts at the Valéncia Arts Center will offer dance and fitness classes for adults throughout the month of June. Classes will be held each Monday evening, June 4, 11, 18 and 25.

Offerings include: Clogging, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. This course provides an introduction to clogging. Students will learn basic traditional folk dances. Don’t miss this toe-tapping, foot stomping good time! Dance Fitness, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. This aerobic course will include warm-ups using jazz dance technique, kick boxing for a great cardio workout, and Pilates and yoga influences for stretching and strengthening. Weights may be used for additional strengthening. Piyo, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. This Pilates and yoga combination class focuses on yoga postures and Pilates strengthening to offer the perfect conditioning class.

All classes are for youth ages 13 to adults. No experience is necessary. Certified MCA faculty member Avin Honecker-Sherman will instruct the courses. Tuition for each course is $30. Students who sign up for two courses will receive a 10 percent discount. Register for all three course and receive 15 percent off. All classes are held at the Conservatory’s Valéncia Arts Center, located at the corner of Vila and Howard streets. Registration will be accepted at the Valéncia Arts Center through June 4.

For more information and registration materials, visit, e-mail or call (507) 453-5500.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is an affiliate program of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

Monday, May 21, 2007

SMU Page, theatre season subscriptions available May 29

WINONA, Minn. — Season subscriptions to the 2007-2008 Saint Mary’s University Page Series and Department of Theatre Arts seasons go on sale Tuesday, May 29, at the Performance Center box office.

Season subscribers must choose at least three events to the Page Series and all four Department of Theatre Arts events to:

  • Select the best seats in the house;
  • Receive ticket exchange privileges; and
  • Save 10 percent on their order.
  • Returning 06-07 subscribers save 20 percent on their order.
The Page Series will offer 10 music, dance and family theatre events from September 2007 through April 2008. Dance concerts feature a best-of program from MOMIX, swing and jazz dance with Koresh Dance Co., and Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre in “Carmen.” Music concerts feature the guitar-driven Mediterranean sound of Pavlo; Madrigaia, an eight-woman ensemble that sings music from around the world (in 13 languages); the American-Japanese fusion of San Jose Taiko; and two SMU voice faculty members in concert. Family theatre includes two Theatreworks USA productions, “Charlotte’s Web” and “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” and the giant puppet theatre company Theatre Sans Fil in the children’s opera “Hansel and Gretel.”

The Department of Theatre Arts offers classic and contemporary drama with “Art” by Yasmina Reza, “Yerma” by Federico Garcia Lorca, “Iphigenia at Aulis” by Euripides, and “When You Comin’ Back Red Ryder?” by Mark Medoff.

Also on sale are tickets to pre-show dinners, which will be available prior to each Page Series event.

Season subscriptions will be on sale through June 29. Orders can be made online at, in person, or by calling the Performance Center box office at (507) 457-1715 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

2007-2008 School of the Arts Event Calendar

Page Series
Sept. 14, Pavlo, 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
Oct. 5, Charlotte’s Web, 6:30 p.m., Page Theatre
Oct. 10, MOMIX Remix, 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
Oct. 19, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, 6:30 p.m., Page Theatre
Nov. 17, Koresh Dance Co., 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
Jan. 24, Saint Petersburg Dance Theatre, Carmen, 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
Feb. 7, Theatre Sans Fil, Hansel and Gretel, 6:30 p.m., Page Theatre
Feb. 20, Madrigaia, 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
March 10, San Jose Taiko, 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
April 5, Faculty Vocal Concert: Mowry & O’Shea, 7:30 p.m., Figliulo Recital Hall
April 6, Faculty Vocal Concert: Mowry & O’Shea, 3 p.m., Figliulo Recital Hall
Department of Theatre Arts
Sept. 28, 29 & Oct. 1, Art, 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
Sept. 30, Art, 3 p.m., Page Theatre
Nov. 9, 10, & 12, Yerma, 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
Nov. 11, Yerma, 3 p.m., Page Theatre
Feb. 28-29, March 1 & 3, When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder?, 7:30 p.m., Academy
Theatre, Valencia Arts Center
March 2, When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder?, 3 p.m., Academy Theatre, Valencia Arts Center
April 18, 19 & 21, Iphigenia at Aulis, 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
April 20, Iphigenia at Aulis, 3 p.m., Page Theatre
Department of Music
Sept. 28, Jazz Ensemble & Combo, 6 p.m., Figliulo Recital Hall
Sept. 29, Concert Band & SMU Choirs, 2 p.m., Page Theatre
Nov. 18, Concert Band, 3 p.m., Saint Cecilia Theatre
Dec. 1, SMU Choirs, Lessons & Carols, 7:30 p.m., Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels
Dec. 7, Jazz Ensemble & Combo and Batucada Nossa Senhora, 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
March 30, Concert Band, 3 p.m., Page Theatre
April 25, Jazz Ensemble & Combo, 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
April 26, SMU Choirs, 7:30 p.m., Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
April 30, Batucada Nossa Senhora, 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts
May 16, Dance Repertory Company, 7:30 p.m., Page Theatre
May 17, Dance Repertory Company, 3 p.m., Page Theatre
Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries
“Images of Nature” Carol Faber
“Interstices” Monta May
Aug. 22-Oct. 5

“Encaustic Portraits” Michal Sagar
Francisca de Beurges Rosenthal: Audio Installation
Oct. 14-Nov. 10 (reception: Oct. 21)

Undergraduate Art Show
Nov. 15-Dec. 14

“Ignes Fatui” Art Faculty Show
Jan. 16-Feb. 17

“Tempus Fugit” Group Photo Show
Feb. 28-March 29

Senior Art Show
April 12-May 10

Saint Mary’s names five to board of trustees

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has announced five new members of its board of trustees:

Brother Gustavo Ramirez, FSC, has served as president of Universidad La Salle Noroeste in Sonora, Mexico, since 2000.

Thomas Dyer of Whitefish Bay, Wis., and Winona, is retired from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., where he served as vice president of corporate services. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Saint Mary’s in 1967.

Patrick Salvi and his law firm of Salvi, Schostok and Pritchard P.C. have offices in Chicago and Waukegan, Ill. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in 1975, and received an honorary Doctor of Laws in 1999, both from Saint Mary’s.

Joseph Ross of Naperville, Ill., served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Federal Signal Corporation in Oak Brook, Ill., prior to his retirement. He graduated from Saint Mary’s in 1967. He previously served on the board from 1991-2001.

Brother Lawrence Humphrey, FSC, is the president of Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis. He has also been appointed regional coordinator for the Christian Brothers Conference, the United States/Toronto Region.

Current trustees Celeste Suchocki of Valley View, Ohio, and Salvatore Polizzotto ’67 of Naperville, Ill., were appointed to additional five-year terms.

Brother Bernard LoCoco, FSC ’58, of Moraga, Calif., retired from the board at the May meeting. He had served on the board since 1997.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

SMU offers jazz combo, music production workshops for youth

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University is offering two hands-on summer music programs for students entering grades 10-12, Summer Music Production Workshop, and Summer Jazz Combo and Improv Workshop.

The Summer Music Production Workshop will introduce area high school students to the exciting world of digital audio recording and music production. Students will utilize the audio workstations on campus to record their own projects on computers and will have access to professional audio software programs like Digital Performer and Pro Tools.

The workshop will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 12, 14, 19, 21, 26 and 28 in Saint Yon’s Hall, located on the Winona campus. Classes run from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and from 2:30 to 3 p.m., students will receive help with their projects. The cost of $150 per student includes a T-shirt, and space is limited to 10 students. The students' projects will be featured as a part of the Summer Jazz Combo Workshop Concert at 7 p.m. on June 28 in the Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the SMU Performance Center.

During the Summer Jazz Combo and Improv Workshop, area high school students will develop their skills at performing jazz in a small combo setting. All students must have at lease one year of experience playing in a high school jazz group. Students will be placed in groups based on their age, background and experience playing jazz. The workshop will close with a concert for family and friends at 7 p.m. on June 28 in Figliulo Recital Hall.

The workshop will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 14, 19, 21, 26 and 28, in Figliulo Recital Hall. Participants meet from 3 to 5:30 p.m. (with set-up and tuning from 3:30 to 4 p.m. and rehearsal from 4 to 5:30 p.m.) The cost is $125 per student with a $75 bass player rate. All participants will receive a a T-shirt.

These courses will be instructed by Dr. John Paulson, professor of music at Saint Mary's University, along with other SMU Music Department faculty members.

Sign up for both programs and save $25! Register and pay online at For more information, e-mail, or call (507) 457-6973 or 800-635-5987, Ext. 6973.

Charron named dean of the SMU School of the Arts

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has named Michael Charron as the new dean of the School of the Arts, effective June 1.

Charron earned his bachelor’s degree in theatre and English, with a secondary education license from Saint Mary’s College in 1979, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre from the University of Minnesota in 1983. He has been a faculty member at Concordia University in Saint Paul since 1983, where he is currently a tenured professor of theatre arts and chair and artistic director of the Department of Theatre. He has extensive experience as a director, playwright, actor and leader within the arts community. He also served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2004-06.

Charron replaces Larry Gorrell, who was named executive director of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in January.

SMU students honored at Beta, Beta, Beta district meeting

WINONA, Minn. — Eight Saint Mary’s University biology students presented their research at the Iowa Academy of Science/Beta Beta Beta annual meeting, held at Central College in Pella, Iowa, April 28. The students, their advisors and research projects are:

Matt Bilski (Dr. Richard Kowles) “C4 photosynthetic efficiency in C3 oat plants containing maize chromosomes”;

Katie O’Brien (Dr. Kowles) “Determination of the activity of C4 photosynthetic enzymes in oat-maize addition lines”;

Katie Berg (Dr. Randy Krainock) “Insulin receptor response to chromium picolinate in murine myoblast cells”;

Abby Deckert (Dr. Kowles) “C 4 Photosynthetic enzymes are located in chloroplast of oat-maize addition lines”;

Jessica Voight (Dr. Jeanne Minnerath) “Sensitivity of Staphylococcus aureus after repeated sublethal exposures of stellisept scrub antimicrobial agent”;

Ashley Karl (Dr. Krainock) “The effects whey proteins have on the actin fibrils in exercised female Mus musculus”;

Molly Dant (Dr. Kowles) “Cytological aspects of oat plants containing Zea Mays chromosomes”; and

Emily Bartusek (Dr. Phil Cochran) “Comparison of phosphorus levels in precipitation in adjacent rural and urban areas.”

Berg placed first in the Frank G. Brooks Awards for Oral Presentation, Voight placed second and Deckert placed third.

Also attending the meeting were Dr. Kowles, Dr. Minnerath and Dr. Debra Martin, Beta Beta Beta district director.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Br. Louis DeThomasis presenting award to Br. José Cervantes.

Br. José Cervantes with Rob Figliulo, Chairman of the SMU Board of Trustees

WINONA, Minn. — An honorary Doctorate of Educational Leadership was presented to Brother José Cervantes, FSC, during the May 12 undergraduate commencement ceremony at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Brother José was honored for his lifelong commitment to education, including more than 50 years of teaching. He founded Universidad de Monterrey in 1969, Universidad La Salle Noroeste in 1991 and Universidad La Salle Chihuahua in 2000. He also served as president of Universidad La Salle Noroeste and Universidad La Salle Chihuahua, as well as Universidad La Salle, Mexico City. He is a visiting professor of the University of Chicago and serves as president of the Mexican Private Universities Association and Mexican Catholic Universities Association. He serves on the boards of trustees of Universidad de Monterrey, La Salle University in Philadelphia and Saint Mary’s College of California. Additionally, Brother José has lectured all over the world on religious life, sociology and education and has written several books and articles on these subjects.

Approximately 260 students received undergraduate degrees and approximately 470 students received graduate and professional degrees during morning and afternoon ceremonies at Saint Mary’s Winona campus.

The Saint Mary's Nairobi campus hosted its commencement ceremony on May 12. The Twin Cities campus will conduct its commencement ceremonies on June 3.

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Youth Baseball League is designed to help players enhance their abilities through proper instruction, supervision, and practicing fundamental skills. The league will run Mondays and Wednesdays from June 4 to July 14 at Cotter Fields (due to the restructuring of the SMU ballfields). The league does not meet on July 4.

The $65 fee includes a T-shirt and hat. Prior to every game, players will receive instruction and training from their coach. After the practice session, players will compete in a five-six inning game against another team from the league.

  • The Rookie League (for players entering grades three and four) meets June 4 through July 11 at 5:30 or 7 p.m. (coached-pitched/coached by parents).

  • The American League (for players entering grades four and five) meets June 4 through July 11 at 5:30 or 7 p.m. (machine-pitched/coached by parents)

  • The National League (for players entering grades six and seven) meets June 11 to July 14 at 9 or 10:30 a.m. (player-pitched/coached by high school and college coaches.
Players entering fourth grade can choose between the Rookie and American Leagues.

An informational meeting for players, parents and coaches will be held 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, in Gostomski Fieldhouse, located on the SMU campus. Scheduling, clinics, placement and coaching will be discussed.

REGISTER and pay online at For more information, e-mail, or call (507) 457-6973 or 800-635-5987, Ext. 6973.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

SMU signs cultural, educational agreement with Japanese schools

Attending a cultural and educational agreement signing ceremony at Saint Mary’s University were, from left: front, Tony Piscitiello, SMU vice president for admission; Dr. Jeff Highland, SMU provost; Shizuo “Alex” Kishaba, the chairman of the Ryuku American Historical Research Society; back, Choyu Takamine, educational superintendent of Nanjo City; Keishun Koza, major of Nanjo City; Kunio Arakaki, major of Kitanakagusuku Village; and Seiichi Oyakawa, state assembly representative.

WINONA, Minn. — On April 27, Saint Mary’s University administrators signed a cultural and educational agreement with the Ryuku American Historical Research Society, located in Okinawa, Japan. The two groups have agreed to “create and nurture an educational and cultural collaboration to enhance international goodwill, and promote the personal and professional development of their students, graduates and faculty.”

The agreement states that Saint Mary's will regularly offer and host a summer English and American culture program for students from the Okinawa schools affiliated with the Ryukyu American Historical Research Society (RyuBei Kai).

RyuBei Kai and its affiliated city, town and villages on Okinawa will welcome graduates of Saint Mary's who are interested in volunteering to teach English and American culture while pursuing their fields of study or research.

Saint Mary's will welcome applicants for admission to its undergraduate programs. All candidates for admission must be reviewed and accepted by the International Student Admissions Committee.

Saint Mary's will award a $10,000 International Student Cultural Diversity Scholarship for four consecutive years to qualified and accepted undergraduate students.

The collaborating institutions will also explore and encourage educational exchanges, including faculty exchanges.

Saint Mary's and Ryukyu America Historical Research Society and the affiliated cities, towns and villages of Okinawa, Japan, pledge to further international education and cultural understanding.

Saint Mary’s seniors honored at awards banquet

Timothy Markus of Rochester, Minn., was honored by Dr. Gary Diomandes of the SMU Department of Theatre Arts.

Michael Kopischke of Minnetonka, Minn.; Kelly Rosaaen of Spring Grove, Minn.; Tom Marpe, chair of the SMU Business Department; Indeah Gustafson of Red Wing, Minn.; Angela Pieper of Harvard, Ill.; Jeff Hefel, SMU business professor; Brooke Zachman, Elk River, Minn.; and Stephanie Klinger, Winona, posed for a photo after the SMU senior awards ceremony. These six students received business awards.

Jessica Voight of Caledonia, Minn., is pictured at right, along with Jacob Olzen, left, and Dr. Jenny Shanahan, director of the Lasallian Honors Program.

Jennifer Johnson, left, of Racine, Wis., and Rebecca Bartelson of Utica, Minn., are congratulated by Dr. Paul Weiner of the SMU Department of Mathematics and Sciences.

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University recognized outstanding senior students Tuesday, April 18, at the annual Senior Academic Honors Banquet. Highlights of the evening included the announcement of graduate and professional school acceptances, grants and fellowships, and the awarding of the following special honors:

American Institute of Chemists Award (chemistry award) — Rachel Harrison (chemistry), daughter of Lewis and Martha Harrison of Madison, Wis., and Holly Lacher (biochemistry), daughter of Scott and Denise Lacher, Jordan, Minn.

American Chemical Society Award (chemistry award) — Ashley Davis, daughter of Daniel and Gloria Davis of Hugo, Minn.

Accounting (business award) — Indeah Gustafson, daughter of Wayne and Mary Gustafson of Red Wing, Minn.

International Business Award (business award) — Brooke Zachman, daughter of DonEva McPherson of Elk River, Minn.

Management Award (business award) — Michael Kopischke, son of William and Mardy Kopischke of Minnetonka, Minn.

Marketing Award (business award) — Stephanie Klinger, daughter of Jim and Paulette Klinger of Winona; and Kelly Rosaaen, daughter of Paul and Marianne Rosaaen of Spring Grove, Minn.

Wall Street Journal/Business Student of the Year (business award) — Angela Pieper, daughter of Kenneth and Margee Pieper of Harvard, Ill.

Saint Thomas Aquinas Award for Excellence (philosophy award) — Nathan Sparks, son of Cora Lee Alley and Richard Alley of Rapid City, S.D.

Grove Bree Holman Award (theatre arts award) — Sarah Engle, daughter of Michael and Alisan Engle of White Bear Lake, Minn.

Gerald E. Sullivan Award (theatre arts award) — Daniel Pancratz, son of Tim and Mary Kay Pancratz of Dubuque, Iowa.

Michael G. Flanagan Award (theatre arts award) — Timothy Markus, son of Bill and Pat Markus of Rochester, Minn.

Brother Leo Northam Award (mathematics award) — Rebecca Bartelson, daughter of Scott and Barbara Bartleson of Utica, Minn., and Jennifer Johnson, daughter of Jeff and Teresa Johnson of Racine, Wis.

Winona Community Service Award — Lisa Boris, daughter of Tom and Judy Boris of Columbia Heights, Minn., and Amy Glasgow, daughter of Roger and Janet Glasgow of Dubuque, Iowa.

Student Alumni Relations Group Scholarship — Jessica Voight, daughter of Edward and Karen Voight of Caledonia, Minn.

Ochrymowycz Family Scholarship — Jennifer Truhler, daughter of Gregory and Janet Sauber Truhler of Vadnais Heights, Minn., and Elizabeth Wessa, daughter of Michael and June Wessa of Milwaukee, Wis.

Lasallian Honors Program Outstanding Senior Awards — Jessica Voight, daughter of Edward and Karen Voight of Caledonia, Minn., and Jacob Olzen, son of Philip and Julie Olzen of Roselle, Ill.

Student Service Award — Tera Bollig, daughter of Gregory and Lisa Bollig of Cambridge, Minn.

Brother James Miller Award — Jacob Olzen, son of Philip and Julie Olzen of Roselle, Ill., and Eric Sonnek, son of Barbara Sonnek of Delavan, Minn.

Monday, May 07, 2007

SMU commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 12

WINONA, Minn. — On Saturday, May 12, the Winona campus of Saint Mary's University will host two commencement ceremonies to mark the end of the academic year.

The Winona campus undergraduate commencement will begin at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium; approximately 260 students will participate in the commencement ceremony. Student perspectives will be offered by this year's Outstanding Male and Female Seniors, Davey Warner and Sarah Bellingham.

The Winona campus School of Graduate and Professional Programs commencement will begin at 4 p.m. in the gymnasium. Approximately 470 students in eight of the graduate and professional programs administered from Winona will participate in the commencement ceremony. Along with the conferring of degrees, student perspectives will be offered by Thomas Hartwig, Mater of Education in Teaching and Learning, and Sharon Malvas-Tsumba, Master of Arts in International Business.

Receptions on the plaza will follow both ceremonies. In case of inclement weather, the receptions will be held in Gostomski Fieldhouse.

Prior to the ceremonies, a Baccalaureate Mass will take place in the gymnasium at 8:30 a.m.

The Saint Mary's Nairobi campus will also host its commencement ceremony on May 12. The Twin Cities campus will conduct its commencement ceremonies on June 3.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Scott and Jeff radio marathon raises $3,203 for Habitat

WINONA, Minn. — The Scott and Jeff Show (a quirky talk show hosted by two Saint Mary’s University business faculty members Scott Deml and Jeff Hefel) raised $3,203 during Thursday’s 10-hour Habitat for Humanity Radio-a-thon.

In 2005, the duo raised $500; last year’s total was nearly $1,500.

The Scott and Jeff Show can be heard on SMU radio station, KSMR, 92.5-FM on the Saint Mary’s campus and 94.3-FM in Winona. Their regular show plays 3 to 5 p.m. Thursdays.

Known for being “so bad they’re good,” the duo play music by Jimmy Buffett and Elton John in between their corny contests and bantering.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Saint Mary’s receives notice of continued accreditation

WINONA, Minn. — On May 2, Saint Mary’s University received official notification from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) that its accreditation was continued. This action by the HLC Board of Trustees was the last step in the university’s reaccreditation efforts, which included preparation of a self-study document and an October 2006 HLC Evaluation Team visit. Saint Mary’s next comprehensive evaluation with HLC is scheduled for 2016-2017.

Many faculty, staff and students at the university were engaged in the intensive two-year process of self study. Saint Mary’s was required by its regional accreditor, The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, to undertake the process of self-evaluation for reaccreditation, the purpose of which is to assure quality and continuous improvement. All accredited institutions participate in this process, usually every 10 years.

Brother Chancellor Louis DeThomasis stated that “the HLC action is wonderful news for the university, and affirms what we already know: that Saint Mary’s provides a high quality, distinctive education. I am grateful to the members of the SMU community for bringing this reaccreditation process to a successful conclusion.”

Dr. Jeff Highland, provost and chairman of the Self-Study Steering Committee, noted that “we have already begun to implement some of the recommendations from the self-study and the Team Report, and we look forward to using the findings to make SMU an even better institution.”

The team report states, “Saint Mary’s University is to be commended for the high-quality programming at low cost to individuals at their many sites throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.”

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

SMU announces VP for Academic Affairs for the College

Thomas Mans, Ph.D.

WINONA, Minn. — Brother Chancellor Louis DeThomasis has appointed Thomas Mans, Ph.D. as Vice President for Academic Affairs for the undergraduate College, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, effective June 1.

The vice president is responsible for the academic programming, academic support service areas, faculty, and academic administrative staff of the undergraduate College.

Dr. Mans is a native of Northeastern Iowa. He comes to Saint Mary's from Saint Vincent College in Pennsylvania, where he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College from 2002 to the present. His administrative experience includes serving in various dean and associate dean positions at Creighton University in Nebraska, and as an assistant and associate professor of political science at Creighton as well as Berea College in Kentucky.

Dr. Mans holds a B.A. in government and history from St. John's University in Minnesota, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa. His academic specialization is American political institutions, processes and public policy.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Conservatory’s Dance Repertory Company spring concert

WINONA, Minn. — The 2006-07 performance season at Saint Mary’s University concludes with the Dance Repertory Company’s annual spring concert, “Pure Entertainment,” May 18-19. The event, which will begin at 7:30 p.m., will be held in SMU’s Page Theatre.

For more than three decades, the Dance Repertory Company has presented the Winona community with quality dance productions with local dancers featuring classical and contemporary works. This year the DRC presents a concert featuring contemporary ballet, swing, and tap — all to the music of the ’30s and ’40s and choreographed by Christine Martin, production coordinator, and Allen Fields, the Conservatory’s artist in residence.

Performed by the current dancers who train at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, “Pure Entertainment” will showcase their effervescent spirit, unlimited energy, and technical and artistic abilities that continue to inspire audiences year after year.

“This concert is for everyone,” said Martin. “Children will enjoy experiencing wonderful dancing, accompanied by the great music of Ella Fitzgerald for the first time, while their grandparents will reminisce in the memories of this era.”

Cast members include: Chris Bernard, Jackson Bryant, Madeleine Bryant, Trisha Crichton, Keegan Eide, Lydia Feuerhelm, Katie Harbinson, Lars Johnson, Marta Johnson, Caitlin Kamen, Rebekah Mulkey, Katie Nurmela, Augusta Rodgers, Miranda Ruben, Zach Ruben, Danielle Schleich, Jenny Schmidt, Alyssa Schneider, Crystal Sell, Claire Smart, Minami Takar, Lexy Valentine, Adelle Vietor, Kaitlyn Vietor, and Amanda Weatherhead.

The Dance Repertory Company is the youth performing troupe of the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts. Company members participate in rehearsals, technique classes and stage performances. Past productions of the company include: “The Firebird,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Nutcracker,” “Excerpts from Swan Lake,” “Cinderella,” “The Goodman Suite,” “Youth In Motion,” and “Tappin’ to Connick.”

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. performances in Page Theatre cost $8, $6 for students and senior citizens and may be purchased online at or at the Performance Center box office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

LaSalle Woodwind Quintet to perform May 5

LaSalle Woodwind Quintet members include, clockwise from top, Jen Welch, bassoon; Tammy Bartz, horn; Layla Lunde, oboe; Sylva Hanson, clarinet; and Janet Heukeshoven, flute. The quintet is posing around one of the Blue Heron statues, located at Saint Mary’s University, which features tickets to a LaSalle Woodwind Quintet performance as part of its arts theme. The group’s next concert is May 5.

WINONA, Minn. — The LaSalle Woodwind Quintet, an ensemble comprised of professional artists who teach in the music department of Saint Mary's University, will perform 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5, in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the Performance Center. The performance is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow the recital.

Quintet members include: Janet Heukeshoven, flute; Layla Lunde, oboe; Sylva Hanson, clarinet; Tammy Bartz, horn; and Jen Welch, bassoon.

The performance will feature Mozart’s “Partita in Bb,” Malcolm Arnold’s “Three Shanties for Wind Quintet,” three traditional spirituals for wind quintet, and Debussy’s “Girl with the Flaxen Hair,” featuring Lunde on the English horn.

The LaSalle Woodwind Quintet debuted in fall of 2003 and has since performed regionally in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

For more information, contact Dr. Heukeshoven at or (507) 457-1675.