Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NCAA honors SMU athletes for volunteer flood work

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University is one of three schools to receive this year’s National Association of Division III Athletics Administrators awards honoring community-service projects and activities.

Saint Mary’s athletes were recognized for their efforts to aid flood victims in Minnesota.

SMU, along with York College of Pennsylvania and Stevens Institute of Technology each will receive $1,000 contributions to their general scholarship funds as recipients of NADIIIAA/Jostens Community Service Awards for projects during the 2007-08 academic year.

Ten other institutions also earned recognition in the program, which has honored Division III athletics programs’ community-service efforts annually since 2002. All of the institutions will be recognized during January by NADIIIAA at the NCAA Convention in Washington, D.C.

Saint Mary’s is a category winner for the first time as this year’s honoree for a one-time project or activity. SMU student-athletes returned to campus from summer vacation in August 2007 to find that the university’s field house was serving as an emergency shelter for victims of flooding in southeastern Minnesota. The Saint Mary’s student-athlete advisory committee, which already had begun planning an event designed to increase camaraderie among the school’s athletics teams, shifted efforts to aiding the flood victims.

In collaboration with Volunteer Services, nearly 200 student-athletes and their coaches collected food and water for flood-relief volunteers, and many of those student-athletes fanned out to nearby communities to clean up and repair homes and to help restore a state park. The student-athletes were credited by a relief worker with saving homeowners weeks of clean-up work while demonstrating compassion for flood victims.

To read more about SMU athletes’ flood-relief efforts, go to www.smumn.edu/floodcleanup.

The awards are presented in cooperation with the program’s exclusive sponsor, Jostens Inc. of Minneapolis, whose products include yearbooks, class rings, graduation products, school photography, and employee and achievement awards.

Winona Cross Country Ski Day planned for Jan. 3 at SMU

WINONA, Minn. — The Environmental Awareness Center at Saint Mary’s University is hosting a Winona Cross Country Ski Day Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Individuals and families are encouraged to come out to participate in this fun winter sport and to experience miles and miles of the most pristine and finest groomed ski trails in southern Minnesota.

Experience is not necessary; beginners and experts alike are welcome!

There is no cost for this event. Skis, boots and poles will be provided and members of the Winona High School Cross Country Ski Team will be on hand to instruct skiers on the basics of classical cross-country skiing.

The Environmental Awareness center is located next to the clock tower on the SMU campus. Turn left at the first stop sign as you enter the campus.

Contact Brother John Grover at (507) 457-1404 for more information.

15 honored through Saint Mary’s Employee Recognition Program

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University employees Suzanne Deranek, Sally Dotterwick, JoAnn Frahm, Nicole Gerdes, Aubrey Hollnagel, Sarah Kay, Mary Kosel, Dr. Jeanne Minnerath, Katherine Pederson, Kenneth Pellegrini, Megan Radke, Joy Rockwell, Adam Stasica, Carol Tarras and Ronald Weimer were recognized during the university’s annual Christmas dinner Dec. 16.

The Saint Mary’s University Employee Recognition Program honors employees whose superior job performance has contributed to the university’s overall growth. Through these annual awards, Saint Mary’s acknowledges the key role these individuals have in the successful operation of the university.

Saint Mary’s to feature two unique realist artists

"Dogs of the Empire" by artist Jason Bronner

"A Brief History," featuring artist Larry Holmes

WINONA, Minn. — The unique work of two vastly different artists — Larry Holmes and Jason Bronner — will be displayed inside the Saint Mary’s University Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries Jan. 6 through Feb. 6.

Holmes, a realist painter, uses an overhead perspective when creating his pieces, which highlight textural beauty by positioning inanimate objects like shells or statues beside flowers or animals. Holmes’ exhibit, “A Brief History,” features a number of oil paintings depicting mosaics. “The concerns that I have in my work range from the formal to the fanciful with several issues between the two extremes,” he said, adding that his work “has come to be largely about the psychology of what is depicted and the gaps that this subsequently leaves for the viewer to fill. Ultimately, I am creating pictorial situations that are intended to leave the audience amused or bemused (sometimes both) and to provide such experiences through what seem to be familiar genres, but are actually less so than what initial impressions might indicate.” Holmes is professor emeritus at the University of Delaware, Newark.

Through his exhibit, “Dogs of the Empire,” Bronner depicts scenes of dogs through charcoal drawings on paper, oil paintings on canvas, as well as digitally. In examining the dog’s competing roles as hunter, guardian and companion, Bronner’s work makes a political statement. “The title of this exhibition references two empires. One being that of the Roman Empire and the other being that of what has been called by many as the new Rome, the United States,” he said. “The dog can be a metaphor for the protective element of the government as well as the oppression of the state. The ancient Roman sculptures of dogs that are found in the Vatican … represent for me a romanticized idea of guardians and the positive protective power. If I apply this same concept to the U.S., the new Rome, I wonder if this canine in the 21st century has become feral and may not be a watchdog.” Bronner is associate professor of painting and drawing at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

The galleries are located in the Toner Student Center. Admission is free and open to the public, and gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, call (507) 457-1652.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Family entertainer Red Grammer will perform at Saint Mary’s Jan. 13

WINONA, Minn. — Grammy-nominated family entertainer Red Grammer will bebop his way onto the Saint Mary’s University Page Theatre Stage at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13.

Compelling audiences to share his totally infectious enthusiasm for music, Grammer will draw listeners (of all ages) into a world where children are intelligent, capable young adults, ready to “bebop their best.” Grammer playfully engages children in self-exploration, where honesty, responsibility, integrity, and being kind and fair are the central messages in a rocking, bopping, swinging series of songs.

With a playful, good-natured character, Grammer is a young-at-heart, premier entertainer of children and families. Parents Magazine has described Red as “the best voice in children's music.” Having been featured on “The Today Show,” “CBS This Morning,” Nickelodeon, Showtime, PBS, and his own Disney Channel concert special, Grammer is practiced in lifting the spirits of families across the United States. He has set the gold standard for writing and performing music that playfully reconnects each one of us with the best in ourselves.

Tickets for the Page Series performance are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and 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 www.pagetheatre.org.

This presentation is supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art, with additional contributions from the Minnesota Arts Board, General Mills Foundation, and Land O’Lakes Foundation.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Saint Mary’s biology students awarded research scholarships

Saint Mary’s University biology students, from left, Maria Borgerson, Nicole Haese, Ben Linder, Melanie Tyler and Lori Brunner, received Beta Beta Beta research scholarships.

WINONA, Minn. — Six Saint Mary’s University biology students were recently awarded the National Biology Honor society Beta Beta Beta Research Foundation research scholarships. To receive consideration for the scholarships, the students submitted a proposal for their senior research project outlining the objectives of the research and a budget. The students and their research advisors are Maria Borgerson (Dr. Debra Martin); Nicole Haese (Dr. Jeanne Minnerath); Ben Linder (Dr. Martin); Melanie Tyler (Dr. Martin); and Lori Brunner (Dr. Richard Kowles). Dr. Martin is the Beta Beta Beta faculty advisor.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Saint Mary’s Gifts for Winona hits record high; gifts due Dec. 12

WINONA, Minn. — The deadline is fast approaching to return gifts to the Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona giving trees. Because the community distribution is early, gifts MUST be returned to giving trees by Dec. 12!

As a record number of individuals — more than 1,800 — have asked for help through this program this year, the deadline is even more of a priority, so that this large number of gifts may be properly sorted and recorded.

There’s still time to help! While you’re doing your holiday shopping, think about those less fortunate in our community who may not be able to afford presents.

In this spirit of giving, take time to purchase a gift for one (or more) of these 1,800 individuals (children to seniors) who have asked for our help this year. Trees are located at the Winona Public Library, Scrapper’s Haven, the three Wells Fargo Bank locations, the three Sinclair stations, the Winona Post, Affinity Plus, and Security State Bank in Lewiston.

You can make someone’s season merrier by taking a tag from one of the trees, shopping for the gift or gifts the person has listed on the tag, wrapping the gifts and returning the them to the tree where you got your tag. Donors are asked to spend about $30 per person.

Tax-deductible contributions can be made out to Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona and sent to 700 Terrace Heights #8, Winona, Minn., 55987.

Saint Mary’s University Gifts for Winona depends upon the generosity of our community, which has been very gracious in years past. The program’s other community sponsors — Wells Fargo Bank, Winona Post, Winona Radio and Winona Volunteer Services, — want to make sure no one goes home empty handed.

Saint Mary’s hosts pianist George Winston Dec. 19

WINONA, Minn. — Solo pianist George Winston will fill Saint Mary’s University’s Page Theatre with the sounds of the transcendent beauty of nature and the changing seasons, as well as a tribute to New Orleans musicians on Friday, Dec. 19.

His 7:30 p.m. performance, part of the Page Series, will also draw attention to the Winona Volunteer Services Food Shelf. A food drive is held at all of Winston’s concerts. Attendees are asked to bring canned goods and nonperishable food to the show; drop-off areas will be set up in the lobby.

Winston, best known for his melodic rural folk piano style, 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.”

In 1972, Winston released his first solo album, “Ballads and Blues;” he currently has 11 solo albums. His musical genre ranges from New Orleans R&B piano to stride piano and folk piano. George has performed more than 2,500 concert dates, with more than 3 million tickets sold.

Tickets for the Page Theatre performance are $25, $20 for seniors and students, and are available by calling the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Enjoy dinner and a show. Chartwells Catering will provide a pre-show dinner in the Toner Student Center. Seating begins at 6:30 p.m. Regular dinners cost $20 and include chicken, beef and vegetarian options, water, milk, coffee, tea, vegetable, and dessert. Children's dinners cost $12 and include mac-n-cheese or chicken fingers with French fries, water, milk, vegetable, gelatin cup, and two cookies. Dinner tickets are also available at www.pagetheatre.org.