Monday, April 28, 2008

SMU announces ’08-09 Page Series season

Compania Flamenco (top) and the Acrobats of China are just two acts scheduled for the 2008-09 Page Series season.

WINONA, Minn. — From flying acrobats to pigs with pancakes and from flamenco dance flamboyance to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s 2008-2009 Page Series promises something for everyone.

The Page Series, celebrating its 22nd year, continues its longstanding tradition of bringing world-class professional performing artists to Winona. This year’s artists come from Russia, Ireland, Africa, Spain — and straight from the pages of storybooks.

Oct. 8 — 7:30 p.m., Compania Flamenco José Porcel
$22, $18 seniors or students (ages 5 and older), $10 student rush

Direct from Spain, the stunning José Porcel and his company of talented dancers represent the best in classic, traditional flamenco while flawlessly melding contemporary styles and moves. Prepare for an evening of fiery footwork, brilliant costumes and evocative, sensual choreography. The October program features eight dances, ranging from electrifying solos by Porcel to larger pieces for the company of eight men and women. In addition, the audience will be treated to live performances by a musical ensemble and traditional flamenco singers.

Oct. 28 — 7:30 p.m., The Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa
$22, $18 seniors or students (ages 5 and older), $10 student rush

This unique ensemble is formed from the rich musical dance traditions of the countries of West Africa. Comprised of singers, dancers, and musicians, this company combines traditional instruments, folklore, and mythology from the countries of Mali, Senegal, Ghana and the Ivory Coast to paint a colorful and exciting picture of the oral and musical traditions of these diverse peoples. Musical styles of the Western world, including reggae and Latin beats, are blended in to create a music that moves its listeners.

Nov. 5 — 6:30 p.m., Omaha Theater Company: Horrible Harry
$10, $5 seniors or students
* Daytime school matinee 10 a.m. Nov. 5

How much trouble can a second-grader cause? How horrible can Horrible Harry really be? This world premiere performance, adapted for the stage by the Omaha Theater Company’s Artistic Director James Larson, features favorite stories from the popular book series by Suzy Kline. Fun-loving and full of mischief, Harry is always the center of attention with his string of nonstop pranks and antics. When his sworn enemy, Sydney, accidentally kills Harry’s pet spider, he gets even with her on the school field trip to the scary prison and creepy copper mine.

Dec. 19 — 7:30 p.m., George Winston
$25, $20 seniors or students (ages 5 and older), $10 student rush
Pre-show dinner available: $20 adult/$12 children

Described as mellow, atmospheric and emotional, pianist George Winston is best known for his melodic rural folk piano style. Frequently drawing from the transcendent beauty of nature and the changing seasons, he also pays tribute to the musicians of New Orleans. The musician will play selections from his latest CD, “Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions-A Hurricane Relief Benefit,” as well as from his melodic seasonal recordings including “December” and “Winter Into Spring.”

Jan. 13 — 6:30 p.m., Red Grammer
$10, $5 seniors or students
* Daytime school matinee 10 a.m. Jan. 13

Grammy-nominated family entertainer Red Grammer is one of the premier entertainers of children and families in America. Described by Parents Magazine as “the best voice in children’s music,” Red has set the gold standard for writing and performing music that playfully reconnects each one of us with the best in ourselves. Red will play tunes from “BeBop Your Best! … Music To Build Character By,” his new Grammy-nominated collection of songs for kids of all ages. “Picking the best of Red Grammer is like picking the best chocolate from a box of Godiva: there’s no way you can lose...” Parents’ Choice Awards

Jan. 27 — 7:30 p.m., Russian National Ballet: Sleeping Beauty
$25, $20 seniors or students (ages 5 and older), $10 student rush
Pre-show dinner available: $20 adult/$12 children

The forces of good and evil and musical fantasies are brought to life in this ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. “Sleeping Beauty” has been a perennial favorite since its first Western debut by Serge Diaghilev in London in 1921. The first ballet seen in the West by the Russian master Marius Petipa, “Sleeping Beauty” has established itself as one of the classical repertoire’s most famous ballets. The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded in Moscow during the transitional period of Perestroika in the late 1980s; it has been led by the legendary Bolshoi principal dancer Sergei Radchenko since 1994.

Feb. 3 — 7:30 p.m., Acrobats of China
$22, $18 seniors or students (ages 5 and older), $10 student rush

In a night of wonder for the whole family, the Acrobats of China will combine martial arts, spectacular costumes and breathtaking acrobatics. In this long-established Chinese tradition, every-day objects become tools to showcase the skills of the jugglers, spinners, and acrobats of this present-day troupe. Watch in amazement as 15 people balance on a bicycle, performers spin dozens of cups and saucers while doing the splits, and many other amazing feats of strength and flexibility.

Feb 6 — 6:30 p.m., Theatreworks USA: Give a Pig a Pancake and other Story Books
$10, $5 seniors or students
* Daytime school matinee 10 a.m. Feb. 6

Pigs can be so demanding. This is why it is probably poor judgment to give a pig a pancake. Syrup leads to baths; baths lead to bubbles; bubbles lead to rubber ducks; and rubber ducks lead to wanting a trip to the farm, playing out the classic scenario of “If you give an inch, they’ll take a mile.” Theatreworks USA will bring this loveable pig tale — along with many other favorite kids storybooks — to life. Stories may include: “Diary of a Worm,” “Fluffy the Classroom Guinea Pig,” “Horace & Morris but Mostly Dolores,” “How I Became a Pirate,” “Lilly’s Big Day,” “The Paper Bag Princess” and “Ruby Mae Has Something to Say.”

March 5, 7:30 p.m. — David Munnelly Band
$20, $17 seniors or students (ages 5 and older), $10 student rush

Ireland's young, multi-award winning David Munnelly Band is fast becoming one of the most sought after groups in Irish music. Led by button accordion wizard David Munnelly, who toured with The Chieftains for four years, as well as with DeDanaan and other legendary groups, the band plays with an exuberant style not often duplicated. The exciting sextet combines button accordion, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, piano, bodhrán and flute for a high-spirited instrumental sound colored with a bit of jazz and ragtime.

March 12 — 6:30 p.m., Einstein Alive!
$10, $5 seniors or students
* Daytime school matinees 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. March 12

Marc Spiegel's Einstein Alive! is a one-man show that is both entertaining and educational for audiences of all ages. Through theater, sing-along songs and audience participation, Spiegel vividly and realistically brings Einstein to life as he takes you on an adventure into the great genius' mind. Audience members will find themselves laughing while they learn complicated scientific theories, including Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

Tickets for the 2008-2009 Season

Season tickets go on sale May 27. New season subscribers can save 10 percent when they buy three or more tickets for different events. Returning ’07-08 season subscribers can save 25 percent.
Individual tickets go on sale Aug. 18 for the first half of the season.
New this year will be “student rush tickets.” Any student can purchase a “rush” ticket 20 minutes before the beginning of an event for $10. Students provide a valid picture ID; there’s a limit of one ticket per student and no reserved seats.

Pre-show dinners
Plan a full evening with a pre-show dinner — catered by Chartwells — right next door in the Toner Student Center. A full menu will be announced later this summer. Performances with pre-show dinner options include George Winston and the Russian National Ballet

Daytime School Matinees
For more information about bringing your school or class to a matinee, e-mail the SMU Box Office at

School matinee productions include:
• Omaha Theater Company’s “Horrible Harry” on Nov. 5
• Red Grammer on Jan. 13
• Theatreworks USA’s “If You Give a Pig a Pancake and Other Story Books” on Feb. 6
• and Marc Speigel’s “Einstein Alive!” March 12.

Additional school-matinee-only performances include:

Oct. 22, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. — Pushcart Players: Stone Soup and Other Stories

A charming, well-seasoned blend, these carefully selected folk tales from around the world support the literacy movement's emphasis on the joy of reading. “Stone Soup...” is on the gourmet “not to be missed” list of young viewers! Story favorites from Africa, India, Eastern Europe, and the United States are filled with music, colors, fantasy, and fun. Each tale introduces the spirit and customs of other cultures while reinforcing the shared values of all peoples.

Dec. 3, Wednesday, 10 a.m. — Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts’ “The Nutcracker”

The ballet tells the heartwarming story of young Clara, who on Christmas Eve dreams of a battle pitting the Nutcracker Prince against the Rat King and his band of mice. At a pivotal moment, Clara comes to the aid of the Prince and helps him win the battle. To reward Clara for her help, the Prince takes her to the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and sees a beautiful array of ethnic dancers such as Spanish Coffee, Arabian, and Chinese Tea.

Thursday, May 14, 10 a.m. — Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts: Dance Repertory Company

Suitable and appealing for all ages, the annual spring concert by Dance Repertory Company offers a well-rounded dance experience by including a variety of dance styles in its performances. Full of youthful exuberance, effervescent spirit and burgeoning talent, the company upholds high artistic standards and commitment to technique, discipline and fun. From contemporary ballet to tap, and from jazz to hip hop, this annual concert promises delightful choreography performed by an equally delightful company of student dancers.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

SMU professor awarded $60,000 grant from Lilly Fellows Program

WINONA, Minn. — Jane Kelley Rodeheffer, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, has been awarded a $60,000 grant from the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts. The program was established in 1991 to strengthen the quality and shape the character of church-related institutions of higher learning for the 21st century.

The Lilly Fellows Program is funded in part by the Lilly Endowment, Inc., an Indianapolis-based private foundation with longstanding interests in education, religion and community development. It offers graduate and post-doctoral fellowships for young scholars who wish to renew their sense of vocation within a Christian community of learning in order to prepare themselves for positions of educational leadership within church-related institutions.

Together with a faculty member from Baylor University, Rodeheffer was selected to serve as a mentor to the first cohort of 15 graduate Lilly Fellows. She and her colleague will facilitate the communication and collaboration of these fellows with one another in areas of research, teaching, and professional development, beginning in the summer of 2008 and ending in the fall of 2011. Lilly graduate fellows and mentors will participate in conferences, group readings, and online and video-based discussions over the course of the three-year program.

The grant award to Rodeheffer will fund travel and a quarter-time reassignment from teaching to mentor the cohort of graduate fellows, and fund a conference, to be held on the campus of Saint Mary’s University in the summer of 2009 or 2010. The Lilly Conference will allow graduate fellows to collaborate with each other and with senior scholars and luminaries who integrate research, vocation and an interest in Catholic and Protestant higher education.

After a rigorous interview process, the first cohort of graduate fellows was recently chosen from a pool of recent graduates of church-related schools in the Lilly Fellows Program National Network. Rodeheffer participated in a panel presentation on “The Integration of Christian Faith with Teaching, Scholarship, and Family Life” at the Initial Conference of the Lilly Graduate Fellows on April 12, 2008.

Rodeheffer has received three previous grants from the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts and has twice served on its National Network Board. She holds degrees from Boston College, Harvard University and Vanderbilt, where she received her Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1989. Rodeheffer joined the Saint Mary’s faculty in 1989 and is past director of both the Lasallian Core Traditions and Lasallian Honors programs. She held the Brother J. Robert Lane Chair in Humanities from 1999-2003 and was awarded the Brother Charles Severin Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003. She is the author of a number of articles in philosophy, literature, and great books, and the co-editor of two volumes of essays: Core Texts in Conversation, and The Work of Andre Dubus.

Winonans Gaut and Neff honored for courthouse controversy chronology

WINONA, Minn. — Winona authors Dr. Greg Gaut and Marsha Neff received the David Stanley Gebhard Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians at their annual meeting and banquet on March 26 at the Minnesota Humanities Center in St. Paul.

The Gebhard Awards are given biannually to the best book and article on the subject of Minnesota's built environment. The major criterion is how well the work strikes a balance between scholarship and accessibility. Gaut and Neff’s prize-winning article, titled “‘Save the Lady’ – The Struggle for the Winona County Courthouse,” appeared in Minnesota History, Vol. 59, No. 7 (Winter 2005-2006). The Gebhard Award for best book went to Jeffrey A. Hess and Paul Clifford Larson for “St. Paul’s Architecture: A History” (University of Minnesota Press, 2006).

In their article, Gaut and Neff provide an extensive history of the Winona County Courthouse and examine why the courthouse has been at the center of one of the state’s longest battles regarding the historic preservation of a public building. The couple detail the reasons why some Winonans in the ’50s and ’60s fought to restore the courthouse, while others thought its Victorian architecture made the town look “old fashioned.” The article also recounts a second controversy over whether or not to repair the building in 2000 after a fourth-floor ceiling collapsed, breaking water pipes and flooding the building.

Gaut serves as an associate professor in the Saint Mary’s University Department of History, and Neff is the grants development coordinator for Mercy Medical Center, North Iowa.

To order the complete article, go to

For more information on the David Stanley Gebhard Award, visit

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ethnic percussion ensemble plans spring concert for April 30 at SMU

WINONA, Minn. —The Batucada Nossa Senhora ethnic percussion ensemble of Saint Mary's University will present its 16th annual spring concert 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, in Page Theatre, located in the Performance Center. Batucada Nossa Senhora translates to Percussion Ensemble of Our Lady.

The performance, under the direction of Denny McGuire, will consist of music from Brazil, Cuba and Puerto Rico, combining for an enriching multi-cultural experience for all ages. Batucada members include SMU students, many of whom are music majors, as well as community members.

Performers use a variety of unique instruments including: the authentic surdo, tamborim, agogó, reco-reco, ganzá, and pandeiro from the Samba Baterias of Brazil as well as hand-drums such as conga and bongó from the Cuban tradition. From Africa, they also use gongoque and beaded gourds of many types (most of which are made by members of the group) as well as instruments such as the berimbau and talking drum.

The John Paulson Quartet, under the direction of Dr. John Paulson of the SMU music department, will open the show. The quartet also includes Michael James, Josh Shively and Larry Dalton.

Tickets are $6, $4 for students and seniors 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.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

SMU Chamber Musicians to perform April 27

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University student chamber music ensembles will present their annual spring recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the SMU Performance Center.

A variety of musical compositions from the Baroque Era to contemporary times will be performed by flute duets, clarinet and mixed woodwind trios, flute and clarinet duets, brass quintet, and woodwind nonette.

Composers represented include Vivaldi, Schultz, Gounod, Kaisershot and others. The performance is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact chamber music coordinator, Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, at or (507) 457-1675.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

SMU students present hymn-sing April 29 at Faith Lutheran

Tony Freeman
WINONA, Minn. – Organ students from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will present a recital and hymn-sing from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29, at Faith Lutheran Church, 1717 West Service Dr.

SMU students Tony Freeman, James Possin and Jake Vercimak, along with their instructor, A. Eric Heukeshoven, will perform selected works by Flor Peeters and John Ferguson, as well as traditional hymn tunes. The recital will also feature two original works. “Evening Hymn” by Freeman is based on an original hymn text by Father Paul Nienaber, assistant professor of physics at Saint Mary’s. This performance will mark the public premiere of Freeman’s work. “Reflections” by A. Eric Heukeshoven will feature Dr. Janet Heukeshoven (also a member of the SMU music faculty) on flute.

The event is free and the public is invited to come, sing, and listen to this uplifting music.

For more information, contact A. Eric Heukeshoven at (507) 457-7292 or

Annual SMU benefit dance raises nearly $17,000 for leukemia patient

Approximately 716 people danced to the Johnny Holm Band during this year’s Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance April 12 at Saint Mary’s University.

Money raised at this year’s Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance will help Steve Groby ’01, left, who has leukemia. With Groby is the benefit’s namesake Taylor Richmond and his mother, Nikki Richmond.

WINONA, Minn. — About 716 people attended Saint Mary’s University’s eighth annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance on April 12.

Proceeds from the dance — and a silent auction held on campus — raised just over $16,900 for this year’s beneficiary, SMU alum Steve Groby ’01 of Shakopee, formerly of Wabasha. Groby was diagnosed on March 16, 2006 with Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia, which resulted in a bone marrow transplant last May.

This benefit dance has become an annual tradition since it was started by students in 2001 in honor of Taylor Richmond, son of Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry and Student Activities staff member Nikki Richmond and her husband Nick Richmond, both of Cochrane, Wis. Taylor has a genetic terminal illness called Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T) and the money from his benefit was used to fulfill Taylor's dream of going to Disneyworld. Each year this event benefits someone in the SMU community in need.

Donations are still being accepted. To help, send checks — payable to the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance — to Katie LaPlant, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, 700 Terrace Heights No. 1471, Winona, MN 55987.

Saint Mary’s choirs to perform at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary's University Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Women's Choir will present a Spring Concert on Saturday, April 26, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

A wide range of music, both accompanied and unaccompanied, will be offered, including works by Purcell, Bruckner, Hovland, Rutter, Mendelssohn, Stenhammar and Bernstein. The Concert Choir and Chamber Singers are directed by Dr. Patrick M. O'Shea, and the Women's Choir is directed by Peter Schleif. Also appearing will be the Saint Mary's University String Ensemble.

Tickets are $6 for adults or $4 for students and seniors and are available through the SMU Box Office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays at (507) 457-1715. Tickets are also available online at or at the door.

Friday, April 11, 2008

WSU, SMU present Hop-a-Concert jazz performances April 2

WSU (top) and SMU (bottom) jazz students will perform April 25.

WINONA, Minn. — Winona State University and Saint Mary's University jazz ensembles will present a Hop-a-Concert – five jazz performances featuring Winona's talented students — at both schools (and the Acoustic Café) on the same day, Friday, April 25.

This event is the first-ever collaboration between students of the two jazz programs. John Paulson and Rich MacDonald, directors of jazz studies at SMU and WSU, decided to plan this evening of jazz after collaborating on live monthly jazz jam sessions at the Acoustic Café in Winona.

The schedule:

• From 6 to 7 p.m., two SMU Workshop Jazz Combos, directed by Paulson and Eric Heukeshoven, will perform a casual pre-concert set in the SMU Performance Center lobby.
• From 7 to 7:45 p.m., the SMU Jazz Ensemble, directed by Paulson, performs in Page Theatre, also in the SMU Performance Center.
• From 7:45 to 8:15 p.m., WSU Jazz Combos, directed by Richard Hammergren, perform in the WSU Performing Arts Center lobby.
• From 8:30 to 9:15 p.m., the WSU Jazz Ensemble, directed by MacDonald, performs on WSU’s PAC mainstage.
• And from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. SMU and WSU select Jazz Combos close the jam at the Acoustic Café.

Paulson has been at the helm of jazz at Saint Mary's University for more than 25 years, and MacDonald at Winona State for the past 12 seasons. The two have hooked up on a number of jazz projects as players, including several of Paulson's CD recordings. They have also featured each other on jazz concerts at their respective schools.

The Saint Mary’s jazz ensemble will highlight many soloists from the band on Dean’s Sorenson’s “Rain Delay.” Also included will be “Moanin’” by the Mingus Band, featuring Tommy Quinn on bari sax; “Shake Your Bones” by Gordon Goodwin and “Passion Flower” by Billy Strayhorn, featuring the talents of Vanessa Grams on soprano and alto saxophones; “Riverscape” by Wisconsin composer Fred Sturm; and the bebop standard “Ladybird” by Tadd Dameron. Earlier this semester, the SMU Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo One toured the Twin Cities area and attended the International Association of Jazz Educators’ Convention in Toronto.

The Winona State University jazz ensemble will feature a new composition from one of its members. Jake Runestad, who has been honored as the Minnesota Collegiate Composer of the year for the past two years by the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA), has written a piece titled, “Home,” which features himself on alto saxophone and trumpeter, Mike Granseth. The group will also feature WSU faculty jazz pianist, Larry Price on two numbers, “Threads,” written by Neil Slater and “Somebody's Waltz” by Tom Matta. The band has had a full year of performances, including many appearances both locally and regionally. They were selected to perform at the MMEA mid-winter clinic this past February, and also made a trip to Toronto, Ontario to the IAJE conference in January. They are getting ready to record their first CD in May and they hope to have it available by this fall.

Admission to both events is $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at either WSU or SMU. At SMU, call (507) 457-1715 or visit, and at WSU, call the music department office at (507) 457-5250. Individual concert tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Saint Mary’s hosts national street ball tour April 27

WINONA, Minn. — The high-flying and mesmerizing “Hustle Up Street Ball Tour” 2008 — starring Hotsauce, Highrizer, Springs, Spyda, and Ghost — dribbles its way onto the Saint Mary’s University court on Sunday, April 27.

The streetball legends, which have been described as Generation-X Harlem Globetrotters, will be playing against the best basketball players that Winona has to offer inside the SMU gymnasium. The tour promises a “night of tenacious dunks, incredible passing and the most unbelievable tricks you have ever seen.” The best streetball players in the world promise “the most exciting basketball event ever to hit Winona.” Doors open at 6 p.m., and tip-off is at 7 p.m.

Hustle Up Streetball is dedicated to showcasing this unique and extraordinary playground-style basketball to the youth of various communities. Because streetball has been limited to the major cities, “Hustle Up” (sponsored in conjunction with JUMPUSA.COM and K1X) brings the hottest streetball players to the smaller markets. The Hustle Up Streetball tour began over three years ago with only 10 tour dates. The 2008 tour will hit 35 cities throughout the country. During visits, players not only show off their basketball skills but also speak to students about the importance of education and staying away from gangs.

The members of the team, including Hotsauce, Highrizer, Springs, Ghost, JFK, Big Swoal, Pat DS Rock, Spyda and A-Money, have participated in one or more of the following events, videos and movies: the Mountain Dew/AND1 Mixtape Tour; the Magic Johnson/MTV “Who’s Got Game” Reality TV show; Nike Dribbling Commercials (the Nike Freestyle Team); ESPN & ESPN2’s Street Ball Series; the movies “Above the Rim,” “On Hallowed Ground” and/or “Crossover” (2006); various EA Sports Street Ball Video Games (representing characters); and they’ve played on or captained a team in the legendary NY Rucker Park Basketball Games.

The half-time show will feature a slam-dunk exhibition and pre-expo warm-up. An autograph session will be held after the game.

Tickets are $13 in advance and are available by calling Katie LaPlant at SMU at (507) 457-6936 or at both Midtown Foods locations in Winona.

For more information about The Hustle Up Street Ball Tour, visit or call (917) 806-3700.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Senior art show to run April 12-May 10 at SMU

These two pieces, on display through May 10 at the Saint Mary’s University senior art show, are by Bridgette Baggio (top) and Ashley Wendlandt (bottom).

Saint Mary’s University senior art students will present the next art show, “zero hour,” April 12 through May 10 at the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries. Artists displaying will include: Bridgette Baggio, Kimberly Koecheler, Joseph Manley, Katie Mathews, Sarah O’Brien, Madeline Pieper, Ashley Wendlandt, Josh Barrett, Hilary Oas, Emerald Hulsing, Satoshi Hayashi, Mary Moses, Jeffrey Paul and Seth Weeks.

An opening reception will be held 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 12. The galleries — free and open to the public — are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily in the Toner Student Center.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Saint Mary’s to show African documentary

WINONA, Minn. — “Invisible Children,” a documentary about the plight of child soldiers and “night commuters” in northern Uganda, will be shown 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, at Saint Mary’s University.

The documentary was filmed by three college students who traveled to Africa in “search of a story.” What they found was “a tragedy that disgusted and inspired them, a tragedy where children are both the weapons and the victims.” Their film details the brutal attacks of a rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army. The conflict has been largely unknown to the international community, while also informing audiences about the great humanitarian crisis of child soldiers.

The event — free and open to the public — will be held in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in SMU’s Performance Center.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sacrificing our children for victory: SMU theatre arts students to stage Greek tragedy ‘Iphigenia’ April 18-21

WINONA, Minn. —The Greek tragedy “Iphigenia at Aulis” will take on chilling contemporary significance during the Saint Mary’s University’s Department of Theatre Arts production April 18-21.

“Iphigenia at Aulis,” by Euripides, centers on Iphigenia, the teenage daughter of Agamemnon, the Commander in Chief of the Coalition of Greek Forces. While waiting to attack the town of Troy, Agamemnon offends the goddess, Artemis, who denies the army the wind of modern warfare, technology, stranding the fleet in the bay of Aulis. The Priest Calchas tells him that he must sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia, to restore the wind and achieve ultimate victory.

SMU’s contemporary version of the tragedy — adapted and directed by Dr. Steven Bouler — explores the dark side of patriotism and war fever, and how far a politician-turned-warrior will go to secure a victory, even if it means sacrificing his own child.

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Monday, April 18, 19 and 21. A matinee performance is planned for 3 p.m. Sunday, April 20.

Tickets for the show — to be held in Page Theatre — are $8, $6 for students and seniors and are available at the Performance Center Box office, 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays or online at

Saint Mary’s to host second Row, Ride, Run Triathlon

WINONA, Minn. — The second Saint Mary’s University Heart & SOUL “Row, Ride, Run” Triathlon will take place on Saturday, April 26, at 9 a.m.; check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. on the west end of Lake Winona. The public is encouraged to take part in the triathlon.

Participants will canoe or kayak a 2.5-mile loop around Lake Winona, then bike 14 miles from Lake Winona to the SMU campus. Once on campus, racers will run 3.1 miles through the bluffs surrounding the university.

Serving Others United in Love (SOUL) is a program of the Office of Campus Ministry at SMU, and offers opportunities to members of the SMU community to serve and be served through both national and international mission trips.

Participants may begin registering now, either as an individual or as a team. Teams may consist of two, three or four members. The registration period ends April 14. The fees are $35 per individual or $60 per team; registration spots are limited.

Each racer is responsible for bringing their own bike, and is required to wear helmets for the bicycling leg of the event. Canoeists and kayakers are required to wear life jackets; a limited number of canoes and kayaks are available to rent for $20. SMU students and employees can use canoes and kayaks at no charge.

For more information, or to register online, visit

Student History Research Symposium is April 19 at SMU

WINONA, Minn. — Seniors from five area universities will present the results of their historical research at the Student History Research Symposium on Saturday, April 19, at Saint Mary’s University. The event — free and open to the public — is sponsored by the history departments of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Saint Mary’s University, Viterbo University of La Crosse, and Winona State University.

In addition to the student presenters, Dr. Kirsten Fischer, associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota, will highlight the day with her presentation, “Religion and the Founders: A Conversation about Original Intent.”

Saint Mary’s University and Winona State University have co-sponsored a student research symposium for eight years, with UW-La Crosse and Viterbo University joining last year. This year they welcome UW-Eau Claire to the event. Each school asks senior history majors — and at Winona State, law and society majors — to write a senior thesis based on their original research of a historical question of their own choosing. In this way, the students actually do the work of historians, and in the process, deepen their research, writing and speaking skills.

All symposium sessions will be held on the third and fourth floors of Saint Mary’s Hall. The symposium opens at 9 a.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall (Room 332) with a short welcoming ceremony and coffee. At 9:15 a.m., students will present their research in concurrent sessions of three students each. At 10:30 a.m., a complimentary brunch will be served in the Common Room, followed by a second session of concurrent panels at 10:45 a.m. and Dr. Fischer’s talk at noon.

The last round of student presentations run from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m.

For further information, contact Dr. Tycho de Boer, Department of History, Saint Mary’s University, at (507) 457-6995 or

Four Saint Mary’s students complete projects in the Mayo Scholars Program

Saint Mary’s University students, from left: Amanda Christman, Bethany Kaufmann, Holly Schuh and Dan Murray participated in the Mayo Scholars Program in 2007-08, sponsored by the Mayo Clinic Office of Intellectual Property.

WINONA, Minn. — Four Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota students received the educational opportunity of a lifetime through the Mayo Scholars Program. For the past five months, these students contributed to innovative medical research, associated with the world’s most prestigious health care system.

The Mayo Scholars Program, now in its second year, offers an opportunity for selected MBA students and undergraduate science and business students to research projects submitted by Mayo Clinic professionals through the Mayo Clinic Office of Intellectual Property.
The program connects students from biology, chemistry, math, physics, pre-med and business and helps prepare them for careers in hospitals, medical research institutions and health care agencies. Forty-five students from nine Minnesota Private College Council schools participated in the program.

Saint Mary’s program participants included: Amanda Christman, a senior majoring in marketing, international business and Spanish from St. Joseph; Bethany Kaufmann, a junior biology: pre-physical-therapy and biochemistry major from Green Bay, Wis.; Dan Murray, a senior marketing and management major from Rochester; and Holly Schuh, a senior visual arts: business major and biology minor from Altura.

The team of four students were chosen by SMU faculty in early October. For the next five months, the teams worked on research focusing on “Treating Digestive Motility Disorders,” under the guidance of team leader Leo Evans from Augsburg College and Mayo Licensing Manager, Leif Nelson. Saint Mary’s faculty advisors were Dr. Tom Marpe, Business Department, and Dr. Randy Krainock, Biology Department.

The group presented their findings March 12 in Rochester.

“The Mayo Scholars program provided an intense, real-life experience that will have positive and beneficial repercussions for my planned future in global health. The research was very interesting and rewarding, and I am very thankful for the given opportunity,” Schuh said.
Other research topics included “Predictive Markers for Parkinson’s,” “Instrumentation for Ultrasound Guided Surgery,” “Fabrication of Enhanced Tissue,” and “Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters.”

Students have the option of earning credit for the experience, either as an internship or independent study. They also receive a $1,000 stipend.

“The students gained a wonderful experience that pushed them outside their comfort zone,” said Marpe. “They gained much in their research skills and poise and confidence in making public presentations.”

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Saint Mary’s students sleep outside to raise awareness of homeless

WINONA, Minn. — Approximately 20 Saint Mary’s University students will sleep in cardboard boxes the night of Thursday, April 3, during the annual shak-a-thon, part of Habitat for Humanity's Act!Speak!Build! Week. A week of activities is scheduled to raise awareness about the millions of people who do not have adequate shelter to sleep.

For Thursday’s shak-a-thon, SMU’s Habitat for Humanity chapter will sell luminaries ($1 for one or five for $4) as a fundraiser. A variety of events will begin at 9 p.m. in the plaza. The box houses and luminaries will remain up throughout Friday.

Additionally both SMU and Winona State University students completed a “Walk to Rally” on Tuesday.

For more information, contact Abby Zimmer at or Angela Buck at