Thursday, October 30, 2008

Author to discuss ‘Hmong in America’ Nov. 6 at Saint Mary’s University

WINONA, Minn. — Kao Kalia Yang, author of the memoir, The Latehomecomer, will be reading from her book about her family’s experience in Laos during the Vietnam War, in refugee camps in Thailand, and, now, as American citizens in St. Paul. The presentation about “Hmong in America” begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in the SMU President’s Room, located in the Toner Student Center. The event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Lasallian Honors Program, School of Humanities, and the Departments of English and History. For more information, contact Dr. Jenny Shanahan at (507) 457-6607.

Excerpt from The Latehomecomer, from Coffee House Press:

Before babies are born they live in the sky where they fly among the clouds. The sky is a happy place and calling babies down to earth is not an easy thing to do. From the sky, babies can see the course of human lives.

This is what the Hmong children of my generation are told by our mothers and fathers, by our grandmothers and grandfathers.

They teach us that we have chosen our lives. That the people who we would become we had inside of us from the beginning, and the people whose worlds we share, whose memories we hold strong inside of us, we have always known.

From the sky, I would come again.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

SMU to host free cello recital Sunday

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University will host a free cello recital by guest artist Kirsten Whitson at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the Performance Center. This recital is unusual in that it will be performed without piano. Whitson plays regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. The program includes Jean Louis Duport’s “Concert Etude #1”; Chinary Ung’s “Khse Buon”; Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Suite # 6 in D Major”; and Mark O'Connor’s, “Appalchia Waltz.”

Whitson also performs with the Milwaukee Symphony and the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra in Jackson, Wyo. Whitson maintains a private teaching studio in St. Paul and has taught at McPhail Center for the Arts, Indiana University, Carroll College and in a fishing village in Norway. She has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan and Cuba with Minnesota Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony and the Bergen Philharmonic. As a chamber musician she played with the Koan Quartet in Minneapolis from 2000-2003 and the Morini String Quartet in Milwaukee from 1994-1999.

She has a Bachelor of Music and an Artist Diploma from Indiana University where she was awarded a coveted Performer's Certificate. Her principal teachers were Fritz Magg, Wolfgang Laufer and Janos Starker. Whitson studied chamber music with Leonard Hokanson, Menahem Pressler and the Fine Arts Quartet. She was a recipient of a 2002 Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship to study improvisation and has collaborated in this field with dancers from the James Sewell Ballet. The exploration into improvisation led to her commissioning a cello and piano piece by McKnight-winning composer Carl Witt. It premiered in 2008.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SMU Oldie Moldies to perform at Signatures Nov. 14

WINONA, Minn. — Catch dinner and a show with the Oldie Moldie All-Stars from Saint Mary’s University on Friday, Nov. 14, at Visions Event Center.

Rock along to your favorite ’50s, ’60s and ’70s tunes, while you enjoy a menu of garden salad, pan-seared Canadian walleye fillet, wild rice pilaf, mixed vegetables, caper tarter sauce, rolls and butter, and a mini banana split.

The Oldies are members of the national music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at Saint Mary’s. The group consists of 12 talented and engaging singers and band members. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.; the Oldies will perform two sets, one at 6:30 p.m., and a second at 7:45 p.m.

The price for the dinner and show is $30 per person; reservations can be made by calling Signatures at (507) 454-3767. Payment is accepted at time of reservation. The reservation deadline is Nov. 12.

Visions Event Center is located at Signatures Restaurant, 22852 County Road 17 in Pleasant Valley.

113 Saint Mary’s students volunteer locally for ‘Make a Difference Day’

Chris Stanish moves building materials to help out a Minnesota City family during Make a Difference Day Saturay, Oct. 25.

Saint Mary’s University students Sara Clements and Tim Wojcicki raked leaves at a Minnesota City residence as part of the annual Make a Difference Day.

WINONA, Minn. — In recognition of national “Make a Difference Day,” 113 Saint Mary’s University students volunteered their time on Saturday, Oct. 25, throughout Winona and the surrounding area. Students raked leaves, painted, stacked lumber, cleaned sheds and assisted individuals and organizations in numerous other ways.

Volunteers helped at St. Anne Hospice, the Catholic Worker Home, Valleyview Towers, Living Light Church, Winona Arms, the Winona Family Community Center, all three grocery stores (with the 10 Days of Giving), Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Saint Mary’s Parish, and individual homes of seniors, as well as homes affected by flooding in the Minnesota City area.

“Make a Difference Day” is the most encompassing national day of helping others, a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Created by USA WEEKEND magazine, this annual event takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October. SMU is proud to join the millions of people throughout the nation who participated.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Saint Mary’s University expands program to make private college accessible to more families

WINONA, Minn. – By expanding its Brother James Miller Program for Access, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is making a private college education affordable to even more students and families.

Through the innovative program, Saint Mary’s guarantees that the total cost for qualified freshmen will be equal to or less than the cost to in-state students attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (including tuition, room, meals and fees).

Most lower-income families will also qualify for federal and state aid to further reduce their expenses.

The U of M was chosen for comparison because it is Minnesota’s flagship public university, with costs in the median range of other Big 10 schools.

When the Brother James Miller Program was introduced in 2007, the adjusted gross income (AGI) limit for qualifying families was $75,000. For freshmen enrolling in fall 2009, Saint Mary’s will expand the program to include families with up to $100,000 AGI.

Over a four-year period, the estimated minimum value of the Brother James Miller Program for Access will exceed $50,000 per student. For 2009-10, Saint Mary’s has allocated more than $4,300,000 to fund this program as well as other freshman scholarships and grants.

“We’re excited to offer this guarantee,” said Tony Piscitiello, vice president for admission. “The current economic climate is challenging to many families. Some students whose parents are in the low- to middle-income range do not consider attending private schools -- even Saint Mary’s, where costs are lower than most Minnesota private colleges. They believe it is not affordable, despite the available grants and financial aid.”

Brother William Mann, president, said, “As a Lasallian institution, Saint Mary’s tradition is to make quality education accessible and affordable, with special sensitivity to economically challenged families. We’re proud of the quality education SMU offers,” he said, “including the highly individualized attention students receive to better achieve their educational goals. With the expanded Brother James Miller Program for Access, even more students will be able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Saint Mary’s.”

The aid program is named for Brother James Miller, a 1966 Saint Mary’s graduate who did mission work in Nicaragua and Guatemala. He was doing “God’s work” of bringing education, faith and hope to marginalized Guatemalans when he was shot and killed on Feb. 13, 1982.

To qualify for the Brother James Miller Program for Access, students must be entering freshmen in fall 2009, have parental adjusted gross income of $100,000 or less, be dependent of parent(s), have a “B” average, and meet other requirements.

Check for details, or call SMU Admission at (800) 635-5987.

Saint Mary’s rugby team takes Div. III Minnesota championship

The Saint Mary's Rugby Club Division III State Champions

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University rugby team won the Div. III Minnesota state tournament on Oct. 18 and 19 in Eagan.

The Saint Mary’s club entered the four-team tournament with a 4-0 season record. The men’s team finished the weekend 6-0 and celebrated its first Minnesota state championship.

Other clubs competing included St. Olaf College, Bemidji State University, and Minnesota State University-Moorhead.

In its first game on Saturday, SMU controlled play for much of the second half to defeat Saint Olaf, 43-12.

On Sunday, the championship game matched SMU against Bemidji State. SMU scored a five-point try but missed the two-point conversion kick, while Bemidji scored two tries and one conversion to lead at the half, 12-5. Saint Mary’s dominated the scrums and rucks of the second half, aggressively running and passing the ball on its way to a 22-19 victory.

The Saint Mary’s team includes Eric Anthaney, Josh Barrett, T.J. Bollis, D.J. Brey, Joe Bush, Ryan Bush, Brian Driscoll, Marty Erfort, Joseph Haynes, Dustan Hoffman, Paul Lambert, Gerry Lentino, Dan Lewis, Andrew Noyes, John O'Malley, Nick Powers, Stewart Schuster, Ryan Soukup, Jack Sullivan, Kevin Sweeney, Mitch Swartout, James Tandberg, Jesse Valdez, Kevin Voris and Anthony Wolfe.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Saint Mary’s students to stage ‘Playhouse Creatures’ Nov. 6-9

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Department of Theatre Arts will stage the racy historical drama “Playhouse Creatures” Nov. 6-9.

Set in 1669, a bawdy and troublesome time, “Playhouse Creatures,” by April DeAngelis details a time when theatres have just reopened after 17 years of Puritan suppression. With this surge in theatrical activity, comes a new British novelty — the actress. Too often the lines between actress and prostitute become obscured as these women walked a tightrope between admiration and derision.

Directed by Dr. Steven Bouler, “Playhouse Creatures” captures the pioneering struggles of these extraordinary women, including six of the most famous — Nell Gwyn, Elizabeth Farley, Rebecca Marshall, Elizabeth Barry, Doll Common and Mary Betterton.

Saint Mary's is pleased to present this tale of theatrical heroism and perseverance in this moving, and often comic, account of the precarious lives of Restoration actresses. Please note that this play contains adult language and situations.

“Playhouse Creatures” begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 6-8, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9. All performances will be held in the Academy Theatre of the ValĂ©ncia Arts Center, located at 1164 West 10th St.

Tickets are $10, $5 for students and seniors and are available at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays or online at

Monday, October 20, 2008

‘Horrible Harry’ goes from page to stage at Saint Mary’s University Wednesday, Nov. 5

WINONA, Minn. – Harry may be horrible, but audiences are sure to find his transition from page to stage entertaining when the Omaha Theater Company presents “Horrible Harry” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, at the Saint Mary’s University Page Theatre.

This brand new theatrical production of author Suzy Kline’s popular children’s books “Horrible Harry in Room 2B” and “Horrible Harry Moves Up to Third Grade,” was adapted for the stage by Omaha Theater Company Artistic Director James Larson and will captivate children ages 4 to 12, as well as entertain audiences of any age.

The meaning of “double revenge” will become clear as spectators get a double dose of Harry’s antics as a school-aged prankster who is transitioning between grades. Doug, Harry’s best friend, frequently speaks to the audience, giving an inside look at Miss Mackle’s classroom. The production follows Harry, Doug, Sidney, Song Lee, Miss Mackle and the rest of the class from room 2B to room 3B, with amusing moments all along the way.

Kline’s vivid characters will take audiences on a lighthearted ride through a hilarious, prank-ridden storyline that will make everyone realize that maybe Harry isn’t so horrible after all.

In addition to Harry’s mischievous shenanigans, the audience will experience a clever rendition of a Thanksgiving play and a class field trip to the aquarium, brought to life by the clever stage design for “Horrible Harry.” Harry and friends move from Room 2B to recess to the bus to the aquarium and back again, without time for set changes, allowing Omaha Theater Company Set Designer Will Davis to skillfully combine all of the scenes into one set.

Tickets to this Page Series performance are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students and available anytime online at, or by calling the Performance Center box office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Omaha Theater Company’s national tour is sponsored by Children’s Hospital. Local sponsors include HBC and Winona Radio.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Winters named director of Saint Teresa Institute

Margaret “Peg” Winters has been named the director of the Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute for Women at Saint Mary’s University.

The Institute — in its fifth year at SMU — nurtures women’s leadership potential; encourages women to grow intellectually, socially, spiritually, and culturally; and celebrates personal integrity, excellence and service.

Winters has focused much of her professional career on educating and empowering young women. She has two decades of leadership experience through her work with the Girl Scouts; in 2004, she was named the CEO of the Girl Scout Council of River Trails, serving southeast Minnesota.

Most recently she worked as a Long Term Recovery coordinator for the United Way of Olmsted County, addressing resident recovery efforts in the seven-county region of southeast Minnesota that was impacted by flooding.

Winters earned her Master of Education degree from the University of Oklahoma and holds an Instructor of Trainers credential with Girl Scouts of the USA.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

SMU Page Series to feature African song, dance Oct. 28

WINONA, Minn. — The Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa will combine various African music styles into an explosion of color, sound and dance, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, on the Saint Mary’s University’s Page Theater stage.

Dressed in colorful costumes, the ensemble’s two-dozen musicians will blend together traditional African rhythms, instruments, folklore and mythology to create a beautiful musical performance. The ensemble incorporates authentic oral, musical and dance styles from African nations such as Togo, Senegal, Guinea, Ghana, Benin, The Ivory Coast and Mauritania.

Past notable performers for the ensemble include singer Oumou Sangare and Toumany Diabate, the prince of Kora. The ensemble has performed many concerts around the world, including stops in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium and the Antilles.

Tickets for the Page Theatre performance are $22, $18 for seniors, $18 for students, and are available by calling the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at

Students celebrate National Chemistry Week, Olympic year during SMU Chemistry Nights

WINONA, Minn. — Many area high school juniors and seniors (and their teachers) will be experiencing the importance of chemistry in an athlete’s life via hands-on experiments during upcoming Chemistry Nights at Saint Mary’s University. Interested students are invited onto campus from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 23 and 30.

Chemistry Night, sponsored by the SMU Department of Chemistry and the La Crosse-Winona local section of the American Chemical Society, is an annual event designed to help students explore the discipline of chemistry and appreciate the positive role that chemistry plays in our everyday world.

Each year students solve a challenging but fun chemical problem, based on the National Chemistry Week (Oct. 19-25) theme; this year’s theme is “Having a Ball with Chemistry – The Chemistry of Sports.”

Students will work in small teams, using wet chemistry and working with chemical instrumentation in the SMU Department of Chemistry, under the guidance of SMU chemistry majors.

Prizes will be awarded to the teams that have the greatest success in solving the chemical problems arising within the sports area. Prizes will include SMU scholarships of $2,000 and $1,000.

The event is free, and there are still openings. Students who are interested should have their high school science teachers contact Dr. Jim Vogel at (507) 457-1558.

SMU to welcome students from Chicago San Miguel

WINONA, Minn. — Sixth-graders from the San Miguel School in Chicago are visiting the Winona campus of Saint Mary’s University Oct. 19-23 and Oct. 26-30.

San Miguel is a Christian Brother’s mission school, part of a nationwide network of schools dedicated to teaching underserved populations of urban and rural school children. The Chicago school, located in a Mexican-American immigrant neighborhood, serves primarily children whose first language is Spanish, but they are also fluent in English.

The goals of the program are to acquaint these children with college life and begin to inspire them to consider post-secondary education. The program also gives Saint Mary’s students – particularly education students – the opportunity to work with urban children from another culture.

While in Winona these students stay with Saint Mary’s host families. The program has fostered a close relationship between San Miguel and Saint Mary’s. Many Saint Mary’s alums work or volunteer in the San Miguel Schools.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Get set to scream at annual Saint Mary's Walk of Horror

WINONA, Minn. — This year's Saint Mary's University Walk of Horror is again guaranteed to give you goosebumps. New scares are planned around every corner.

The 12th annual hair-raising fundraiser for the SMU Cardinal fastpitch softball team will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 23-25 and 30-31 in the SMU bluffs. Walkers are asked to meet on the lighted path between the SMU baseball and softball fields, where the haunted walk will begin.

Groups are then escorted through the dark bluffs surrounding the SMU campus for approximately 20 minutes.

The cost is $5 for adults, $4 for students with ID, and $4 for children 12 and younger. Tickets are available at the gate.

SMU head fastpitch softball coach Jen Miller said the event is fun for all ages. The scare level is toned down for younger children and turned up for groups bold enough to face their fears. Last year more than 1,000 brave souls took SMU’s Walk of Horror.

Proceeds from this event will be used for the softball team’s travel expenses.
For more information, contact Miller at (507) 457-6923.

Halloween Fun Night is Oct. 27 at Saint Mary’s

WINONA, Minn. — Elementary and preschool children from the Winona area are invited to attend the eighth annual Saint Mary’s University Halloween Fun Night from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27.

Participants should stop at the guard booth at the main entrance of the Winona campus for directions on where to park.

Young trick-or-treaters should start out the evening at the Hall of Fame Room, located in the Toner Student Center, where tattoos and stickers, a coloring station, and other fun games will be offered, and the Cardinal mascot will greet pint-sized ghosts and goblins.

From there, SMU students will lead groups of trick-or-treaters through the residence halls of the university, where they can go door to door for candy.

Last year more than 600 youth participated in this free, safe and fun event, sponsored by the Office of Residence Life of Saint Mary’s.

Saint Mary’s, Viterbo to host Sylvia Nasar, author of ‘A Beautiful Mind’ as part of Global Citizenship Symposium

WINONA, Minn. — Professor Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind and First Knight Professor of Business Journalism at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, will speak at both Saint Mary’s University in Winona and Viterbo University in La Crosse at the end of October.

At Viterbo, her presentation on “Globalization Then and Now: Historical Parallels to Contemporary Events” will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre. At Saint Mary’s, her presentation on the same title, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Common Room, located in Saint Mary’s Hall. She writes, “What was true during the first wave of globalization in the 19th century is still true today. As Thomas Carlyle insisted in 1940, ‘What you have is less important than what you do with what you have.’ ” Both events are free and open to the public; no registration is required.

Nasar’s keynote presentation highlights the Global Citizenship Symposium, planned for Oct. 30-31 at SMU’s Common Room. The symposium is sponsored by the SMU Department of Social Sciences and Provost’s Office and is free and open to the public. Other universities participating and attending include Winona State University, Viterbo University and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Thursday, Oct. 30

Creating Sustainable Communities: Environmental Imperatives and Human Responses
11:30 a.m. — Land Stewardship Project, Lewiston, Minn.
12:15 p.m. — Lunch
1:15 p.m. — “Renewable Energy in Sustainable Development,” Pat Papachristou, Christian Brothers University, with Thomas Harris, UW-La Crosse, as discussant
Lasallian Perspectives on Global Citizenship: Meaning, Purpose and Practice
2:30 p.m. — “Lasallian Perspective on Global Citizenship: A Historical Review,” Richard Tristano, SMU; “Why Should I Care?: Student Responses to Darfur,” Stephen Pattee, SMU; “Bethlehem University,” Dorothy Diehl, SMU, with Joyce Altobelli, SMU, as discussant.

Friday, Oct. 31
Living Locally and Visioning Globally: Scholarship, Research, Performance and Service Regarding 21st Century Citizenship
10 a.m. — “Citizenship, diversity and community programs,” Project FINE of Winona
11 a.m. — “Global Trade,” David Lynch, Saint Mary’s
Noon — Lunch
1:15 — “Globalization of Crime,” Tim Kullman, UW-La Crosse
1:45 p.m. — “Globalization” open discussion with Cecilia Manrique, UW-La Crosse as discussant
2:15 p.m. — “Creating Community Within Profit-Centered Organizations: Pitfalls and Possibilities” open discussion with Jeff Hefel, SMU, as discussant.

Sylvia Nasar bio
Sylvia Nasar is the first James S. and John L. Knight Professor of Business Journalism at Columbia University and co-directs the M.A. program in business journalism with James B. Stewart, Bloomberg professor of business journalism, and Bruce Greenwald, the Robert Heilbrunn professor of finance and asset management at Columbia’s Graduate School of Business.
Nasar is the author of the bestselling biography, A Beautiful Mind, which has been published in 30 languages, including Farsi, Turkish, Russian and Hindi, and inspired the Academy Award-winning movie directed by Ron Howard (2001).

Trained as an economist, Professor Nasar was a New York Times economics correspondent (1991-1999), staff writer at Fortune (1983-1989) and columnist at U.S. News & World Report (1990). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Newsweek, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, FastCompany, London Telegraph and numerous other publications. She has lectured frequently on topics ranging from globalization and economics to mental illness and mathematics. Professor Nasar co-edited The Essential John Nash (2001) and is currently writing a narrative history about 20th century economic thinkers titled Grand Pursuit.

She is the recipient of many honors including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography (1998) and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography (1998). She has held visiting fellowships at the Russell Sage Foundation (2006-2007), the MacDowell Colony (2006), Yaddo (2005), the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2002-2003, 1995-96); and Kings and Churchill Colleges, Cambridge University (2000). She has served as a judge for the National Book Award, Anthony Lucas Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, Dow Jones Newswires, and SABEW and serves on the advisory board of TeenScreen.

Nasar was born in Bavaria in 1947 to a German mother and Uzbek father. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1951 and lived in New York and Washington, D.C. before moving to Ankara, Turkey in 1960. In 1965, she returned to the U.S. on her own and attended Antioch College where she majored in literature. She also spent a year at the University of Munich. After working for several years, she entered the Ph.D. program in economics at New York University, completing a master's degree in 1976. For four years, she did research with Nobel Laureate Wassily Leontief at the Institute for Economic Analysis.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Saint Mary’s invites public to disc golf open Oct. 18

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University and Innova Disc Golf will co-sponsor a public disc golf tournament Saturday, Oct. 18.

The tournament will be held on The Woods disc golf course, located at SMU’s Winona campus, and will include two rounds of 18-hole amateur recreational play.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. in the Toner Student Center. The tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 10 a.m., and the second round will begin at 1:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third places.

Pre-register for the event at or send registration form and money to the Office of Outdoor Leadership at 700 Terrace Heights No. 1490, Winona, Minn. 55987.

The cost for both rounds is $15 for students and $25 for the general public. Proceeds will go to maintaining the disc golf course and the Outdoor Leadership Program.

Each participant will receive a commemorative Innova Fairway Driver Disc. On holes 1 and 18 players will have the opportunity to purchase a $3 “Ace Pot” buy-in. For more information. go to or e-mail Davey Warner at