Wednesday, March 31, 2010

SMU’s Saint Teresa Institute hosts women’s symposium April 13

WINONA, Minn. – The Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute of Saint Mary’s is hosting the 2010 Women’s Symposium, “Cracks in the Ceiling” Tuesday, April 13, in SMU’s Toner Student Center.

As Hillary Clinton conceded the 2008 presidential race, she noted that there were 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling. A recent report noted that in the first time in American history, women have surpassed men in the workforce. So has the ceiling been broken? “Cracks in the Ceiling” offers a look at women’s accomplishments and progress in United States as they move to gender equality.

Schedule of events
3:45 to 4:15 p.m. — Registration & Reception

4:15 to 5 p.m. — Keynote “White House Project Report: Benchmarking Women’s Leadership” with Catherine Gray, Midwest Director of Strategy and Engagement, the White House Project. For the first time in American history, women now make up more than 50 percent of the workforce. But in what positions and at what pay? Gray will share highlights of the report, noting women’s progress towards equality in the work place.

5:10-6 pm Breakout Sessions (choose one)
The Religious Perspective —While 87 percent of women say they have a formal religious affiliation, women currently make up about 15 percent of the leadership positions available to them in their religious faiths. What are women’s roles in religious faiths, is there a place for women leaders, and what is taking place to increase women’s involvement? An interfaith panel will discuss perspective and action toward increasing women’s leadership involvement in religion.
The Stem of it — The representation of U.S. women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields has risen dramatically in recent decades. Take part in the conversation of what is being done to increase girls’ and women’s interest in — and preparation for — these fields and address the disparities in the STEM professions.
The Political Scene —In 2009, the United States ranked 61st out of 130 countries in the number of women holding political positions in the country. Why is that? Join panelists as they share their experiences from holding political office, and learn how you support women in office, and how you can become politically active in your community.

6 to 6:30 p.m. — Poster Presentation and Reception
Visit with student presenters and learn about their volunteerism, activism and academic research. Poster presentations on these topics are being sought for this reception. High school, undergraduate and graduate students are invited to be presenters. Students must be in attendance to present their poster. Posters should contain narrative, data and photographs/graphics on the topic of presentation. Presenters will need to submit the name of their presentations and brief descriptions when registering. Due to time constraints, not all submissions may be chosen.

6:30 to 8:30 p.m. — Dinner & Keynote Speaker – Entrepreneurship: Martha Rossini Olson, Owner, Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar
In recent years, Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar has sold more than 5 million chocolate chip cookies at the Minnesota State Fair. Off season, you can find the favorite ready-to-bake chocolate chip cookie dough in local grocery stores. Olson (aka Sweet Martha) will share how she got started in the business and highlights of Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar’s 30-year history. Hear what she does when she’s not selling cookies.

Register online at or call (507) 457-1733. The cost for the symposium is $25, $10 for college and high school students or free for SMU students. Registration is due Wednesday, April 7.

The symposium partially funded by the School of Humanities and Sciences, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Public invited to Entrepreneurship Week at Saint Mary’s University April 12-16

WINONA, Minn. — The public is invited to a full schedule of events in honor of Entrepreneurship Week Monday, April 12, through Friday, April 16, at Saint Mary’s University. Highlights include presentations by nationally known speakers. Events are hosted by the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at SMU in an effort to recognize and celebrate entrepreneurial spirit both at the university and in the community. All events are free except for the women’s symposium.

Monday, April 12

Business Ethics Roundtable
7:30 to 9 a.m., Toner Student Center Lounge
To kick off a weeklong celebration of entrepreneurship at Saint Mary’s University, the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership will partner to offer a roundtable breakfast event focused on white-collar crime issues in today’s society. Justin Paperny, a former UBS stockbroker and author of "Lessons from Prison," will share his personal story of unethical business practice. Please RSVP to for catering purposes.

Dress to Impress
7 to 8 p.m., Common Room, third floor, Saint Mary’s Hall
Through a partnership with SMU’s Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute for Women, the Kabara Institute will host a fun event aimed to educate young adults about what is appropriate to wear as a business owner and young professional.

Tuesday, April 13

Women’s Symposium
3:45 to 8:30 p.m., Toner Student Center Lounge
Continuing the partnership with SMU’s Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute for Women, this four-hour symposium will be offered for individuals who would like to learn more about the challenges and opportunities women face in a business setting. The symposium begins with the reflections and findings of the “White House Project Report: Benchmarking Women’s Leadership,” noting women’s progress toward equality in the work place and community. The guest speaker will be Catherine Gray, Midwest director of Strategy and Engagement of “The White House Project.”

Attendees are then welcome to attend one of three breakout sessions that focus on women in the sciences, women in religion, and women in politics. Students will also make special presentations related to their engagement in volunteerism, activism and women’s status.

The evening concludes with dinner and a keynote address by successful entrepreneur Martha Rossini Olson, owner of Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar, which sells millions of chocolate chip cookies each year at the Minnesota State Fair. The cost for the symposium is $25 or $10 for students. To register online, go to

Wednesday, April 14

Social Entrepreneurship with keynote Lisa Nigro, founder of Inspiration Café
7 to 8 p.m., dining room, Toner Student Center
Lisa Nigro, a Chicago police officer, felt compelled to help the many homeless people she encountered in the Uptown area. She began loading up a red wagon with sandwiches and coffee to distribute on the streets. In 1989, she founded Inspiration Café on Chicago’s north side. Her business quickly expanded to not only providing meals but also offering case management, support groups, life skills training, financial assistance and other services to homeless men and women. Her inspirational story was chosen from more than 2,000 entries in the TrueNorth competition. TrueNorth debuted a 60-second commercial about Nigro and the Inspiration Café, directed by Oscar-winning actress Helen Hunt, during the 2009 Academy Awards presentation. Learn more about Lisa’s passion at View the Inspiration Café commercial at

Thursday, April 15

Professor for a Day: Dave Anderson, founder of Famous Dave’s Barbecue

11 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3 p.m., Toner Student Center Lounge
Dave Anderson – entrepreneur, author and visionary – will share his views on integrity, work ethic, and his personal philosophy. After an outstanding response in April 2009, Anderson will be visiting the SMU campus again to share his motivational story as a visiting professor for the day. He will share his entrepreneurial perspectives with those who are seeking advice and inspiration to chase after their personal goals and dreams.

Friday, April 16

Celebrate Winona’s Entrepreneurial Spirit (luncheon and informal networking)
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Toner Student Center Lounge
To conclude the weeklong celebration, a final gathering will highlight and celebrate the City of Winona’s rich entrepreneurial history. A special luncheon will bring students and entrepreneurs together for a unique networking opportunity. Business owners are encouraged to bring print materials for a community display highlighting Winona’s entrepreneurial spirit. Attendees will enjoy a light meal. Please RSVP to for catering purposes.

About the Kabara Institute — Dr. Jon J. Kabara, a 1948 Saint Mary’s alumnus and an entrepreneur in the field of medical research, knew he wanted to share his passion, spirit and knowhow with the businessmen and women of tomorrow. In 2005, Dr. Kabara and his wife, Betty, made a substantial gift and ongoing commitment to establish the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Mary’s. The Kabara Institute aims to incite a passion for entrepreneurial spirit in students across the university, regardless of their major field of study; to enhance the entrepreneurship program offerings at Saint Mary’s by providing opportunities for students to interact with entrepreneurs and experience entrepreneurship first-hand; and to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the importance of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in our society.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SMU Challenge Ropes Course offers new spring discounts

WINONA, Minn. — The Challenge Ropes Course at Saint Mary’s University is celebrating its second season by offering special discounts — up to 25 percent off — to all non-profit and corporate groups who book early.

Full discount information can be found at or by calling (507) 457-8740 or e-mailing

The SMU Challenge Ropes Course was constructed late in 2008 and officially opened June 1, 2009. Its mission is to provide quality experiential education programming, with the primary purposes being personal development and team development for a diverse clientele base.

Activities — customized to meet your group’s specific needs and goals — are designed to build self-confidence and teamwork, as well as develop an understanding of the complexities of human nature through the use of a wide variety of elements and initiatives.

By using a system of cables, poles and ropes — at varying heights from 1 to 40 feet off the ground — participants grow as leaders and realize their ability to accomplish things they never thought possible. Highly trained facilitators closely direct these challenges, allowing behaviors, emotions, and ideas to emerge. The program thus allows for a unique growth opportunity of challenge and discovery. The ropes course staff — comprised of experienced SMU students and professional staff — is trained in group facilitation techniques and safety procedures, and is first aid and CPR/AED certified.

Public invited to economic panel April 7 at Saint Mary’s University

WINONA, Minn. – Saint Mary’s University invites the public to an economic outlook panel at noon Wednesday, April 7, in Salvi Lecture Hall, located on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall.

Participants will learn more about the local and national economic outlook from Dr. Martin Judd, professor, SMU Business Department; Fred Fletcher, financial consultant, LPL Financial; Rod Nelson, president of Merchants Bank; and Mike Haney, director of the Workforce Center. Dr. Shelly McCallum, associate professor, SMU Business Department, will facilitate the panel.

Monday, March 29, 2010

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

WINONA, Minn. — The fourth Saint Mary’s University “Row, Ride, Run Triathlon” will take place on Saturday, April 24, 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.

Proceeds assist Serving Others United in Love (SOUL), a program of SMU’s Office of Campus Ministry. Through SOUL, members of the Saint Mary’s community participate in national and international service 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 16. The fees are $15 per individual or $30 per team; registration spots are limited. Event organizers have reduced the cost of this race to increase participation. This is a great event for beginning triathletes.

Racers are responsible for bringing their own bikes, and are 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 a suggested donation of $5.

For more information, or to register online, visit For information on reservations, call (507) 457-7268.

Saint Mary’s invites public to Relay for Life April 9-10

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Colleges Against Cancer group invites the community to its 2010 Relay for Life — to be held 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. April 9-10 in Saint Mary’s Gostomski Fieldhouse.

Teams comprised of friends, families and coworkers will join together for this fundraising effort which celebrates people who have battled cancer, remembers loved ones lost, and provides an opportunity to fight back against the disease.

Team members spend the night walking around SMU’s indoor track from dusk to dawn to represent the 24-hour fight against cancer. Each team raises money for the American Cancer Society. Activities planned throughout the night include a silent auction, bingo, games, and a performance by a musical alumni group, Koo Koo Kangaroo.

If you are thinking about creating a team; if you would like to come and support the American Cancer Society’s efforts; if you would like to celebrate cancer survivors and remember those you have lost; or if you would like to be recognized as a survivor and have your success celebrated, come to this event. Participants are welcome to stay for as much or as little as their schedules allow. For more information, contact Leslie Paquette at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Saint Mary’s invites nonprofits to submit ‘to-do’ lists for ‘Spruce up Winona Day’

WINONA, Minn. — In recognition of “Spruce Up Winona Day,” Saint Mary’s University’s Volunteer Services group is inviting Winona nonprofit agencies to submit requests for service.

Do you need someone to help with your spring cleaning, to rake leaves, to do some painting, or to help with construction? Approximately 125 Saint Mary’s University students will be teamed up from 1 to 5 p.m. to help groups and organizations on Thursday, April 22, in recognition of “Spruce Up Winona Day.”

Saint Mary’s will supply the workers, if you supply the materials needed (paint, brushes, rakes, tools, etc.).

To register your request, please call Molly Jewison at (507) 457-1643 or e-mail

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Saint Mary’s to feature new faculty, student compositions

WINONA, Minn. — New music by faculty and students of the Saint Mary’s University Music Department will be highlighted in a free public performance Saturday, April 10. The event will begin at 3 p.m. in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the SMU Performance Center.

Featured selections will include the premiere of “Fantasia for Solo Piano” by SMU student Brian Heim, as well as the premiere of “I Miss the Moon” for jazz quartet by long-time faculty member and jazz saxophonist Dr. John Paulson.

Recently commissioned works by music faculty Dr. Patrick O’Shea and A. Eric Heukeshoven will also be performed. Heukeshoven’s “The Chief,” a work for narrator and chamber ensemble and O’Shea’s song cycle “The Dispossessed” are both based on poems by former Winona Poet Laureate James Armstrong. The two Armstrong pieces feature unusual combinations of folk and classical instruments, such as accordion and uilleann pipes with cello, flute and clarinet.

“Autumn Waves” by 2009 SMU music alumnus Jeremy Johnston will feature faculty member Dr. Janet Heukeshoven on flute, accompanied by her husband Eric on the piano.

The SMU Chamber Singers will perform A. Eric Heukeshoven’s “Pathway of Life” in memory of Ben Larson, the Luther College student who recently lost his life in the Haiti earthquake. The text for Heukeshoven’s choral work (written in 2006) was dedicated to Larson’s mother, the Rev. April Larson, former bishop of the La Crosse Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The jazz quartet will also be featured on “Nyhavn Reflections” by A. Eric Heukeshoven — a work written for the world-renown Danish jazz saxophonist Marc “Kibrick” Bernstein.

This performance is made possible by the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota School of the Arts. For more information, please contact A. Eric Heukeshoven at (507) 457-7292 or

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Annual SMU benefit dance raises $12,347 for Griffin family

Bob and Crystal Griffin (Maintenance Department) were the recipients of this year's Taylor Richmond Benefit.

Nearly 540 people attended Saint Mary’s University’s tenth annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance on March 20. This year’s donations brought the 10-year total raised to more than $100,000.

WINONA, Minn. — Nearly 540 people attended Saint Mary’s University’s tenth annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance on March 20.

Proceeds from the dance — and a silent auction held on campus — raised $12,347 for this year’s beneficiaries, Bob and Crystal Griffin of Fremont, Minn., and their three sons. Bob underwent emergency surgery for an infection on his back. Doctors removed two vertebrae and replaced them with titanium, leaving Bob with only a 1 or 2 percent chance of ever walking again. He has been going through extensive physical therapy in La Crosse Wis., since his surgery. Money from the benefit dance and silent auction will help the family with medical expenses and for renovations to make their home handicap accessible. Crystal works in the SMU Maintenance Department.

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 Jason Richter, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, 700 Terrace Heights No. 45, Winona, MN 55987.

Monday, March 22, 2010

SMU Theatre and Dance Department present ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’

WINONA, Minn. – Saint Mary’s University’s Theatre and Dance Department is presenting their rendition of William Shakespeare’s infamous play “All’s Well That End’s Well” Thursday, April 8, through Sunday, April 11. The play, a lesson of love and social class, will begin at 7:30 p.m. on April 8-10 and at 3 p.m. on April 11 in the Page Theatre, located in the SMU Performance Center.

This comedy, set in the 1630s, takes the stage with full period costuming, supported by a beautiful, romantic setting and luscious lighting. The bawdy tale centers around a young nobleman named Bertram and an orphaned commoner named Helen. The King of France grants Helen the hand of Bertram, because she cured the king of an illness. Bertram reluctantly agrees, but immediately runs off to the wars in Italy. Helen, ever persistent, follows him to Italy and — with the help of a widow woman and her virtuous daughter, Diana — tricks him into consummating their marriage and exchanging rings. Upon hearing of Helen’s death (which she faked), Bertram returns to France only to find Diana and Helen waiting to confront him about his lies and schemes. The charming Bertram learns his lesson and vows to love Helen forever.

“Every four years the Department of Theatre and Dance produces one of Shakepeare’s plays as an essential component of the theatre training program,” said director Judy Myers. “This allows students in the Saint Mary’s community — and the Winona area — the opportunity to engage in Shakespeare’s work in conjunction with their classroom experience.”

Tickets are $10 for adults, $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

High school performance offered

Area high school students are invited to a matinee performance of “All’s Well that Ends Well” at 12:30 p.m. Friday, April 9, at SMU’s Page Theatre. The play is approximately two and a half hours long with an intermission. A discussion will follow. The cost is $2 per student or chaperone. Please call Jennifer Fanello, box office manager, at (407) 457-1716 to reserve room for your school.

“Though the play may seem extraordinarily bawdy at times, its main objective is to promote the value of virginity and that the loss of that virginity should happen with marriage,” Myers said. “The main characters are young (15- to 17-years-old) and the contemplation of sexual relationships is a hot topic among young people. We know your students will enjoy this lighthearted production, and we invite them to stay for a talk-back session at the end of the performance.”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

SMU hosts ‘Learn to Lead’ camps for girls June 17-24

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University is hosting three Learn to Lead camps June 17-24 for girls entering grades five through 10 in the fall.

Girls entering grades five through six are invited to the camp “Embark” June 17-19; girls entering grades seven through nine are invited to the camp “Lead On” June 20-24; and girls entering grades eight through 10 are invited to the camp “Take 2” June 20-24.

“Embark” will allow girls to explore how to become a leader in and out of the classroom, how to deal with bullies and the leadership skills they already have and those they have yet to develop. “Lead On” will give girls the opportunity to discover the leader inside of them. Participants will solve mysteries and work together on strengthening their leadership skills. “Take 2” is for girls who have already attended a leadership camp; these girls will have the opportunity to volunteer in the Winona community to expand their leadership skills.

Each camp will end with a special lunch and tribute to a woman who has made an impact in every camper’s life. Peg Winters, director of the Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute for Women at Saint Mary’s, and women of the institute will teach these camps.

Registration for “Embark” is $240 before Thursday, April 15, and $260 after April 15. Registration for “Lead On” and “Take 2” is $375 before April 15 and $395 after April 15. This fee includes lodging and meals on campus, as well as access to the Recreation and Athletics Center, indoor pool, weight room, dance studio, hiking trails, disc golf course, track and soccer complex, ropes course and more. Register and pay online at For more information, call (800) 635-5987, Ext. 6921, or (507) 457-6921.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saint Mary’s hosts two girls’ volleyball camps

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University is hosting two girls’ volleyball camps July 18-29 for students entering grades six through 12 in the fall.

This first camp, “Session I,” is for girls entering grades six through eight and will be held Sunday, July 18, through Thursday, July 22. The second camp, “Session II,” is for girls entering grades nine through 12 and will be held Sunday, July 25, through Thursday, July 29.

These camps provide a great experience for players who want intense work in a competitive atmosphere. Seventy-five percent of the focus will be on individual skills, and the other 25 percent will be on team play. Mike Lester, SMU’s head volleyball coach, will lead this camp with the assistance of SMU women’s volleyball team members.

Rates are $375 before April 15 and $395 after April 15. Register and pay online at This registration fee includes lodging and meals, as well as access to the Recreation and Athletics Center, indoor pool, weight room, dance studio, hiking trails, disc golf course, track and soccer complex, ropes course and more. For more information, call (800) 635-5987, Ext. 6921 or (507) 457-6921.

High School Challenge broadcasts begin March 21

WINONA, Minn. — On Saturday, March 6, High School Challenge, a tournament of knowledge sponsored by Saint Mary’s University, ended the 2009-10 season with the Consolation and Super Challenge Championships. Eight games were played and taped by Fox 25/ Fox 48 and will be aired on Sundays at 10 a.m., starting March 21 and running through May 9.

Thirty-two area high school teams began competing in the fall for a spot in the Super Challenge Tournament. The teams must win all their games in order to compete in the Super Challenge. Teams that won their second games advanced to the Consolation Championship games. Tune in March 21 to see whether Cotter High School White or Decorah High School Red becomes the Consolation Champion.

Logan Red, Eau Claire Regis Green, Cotter Blue, Decorah Blue, Lewiston-Altura, West Salem Black, Holmen Maroon, and Riceville competed for the Super Challenge Champion title. Broadcasting for the quarterfinals begins Sunday, March 28, on Fox 25 / Fox 48 with Decorah Blue playing against Logan Red. West Salem Black plays Cotter Blue on April 4. Lewiston plays Holmen Maroon on April 11, and Riceville plays Eau Claire Regis Green on April 18. Winners will advance to the semi-finals, starting April 25.

A very special thanks goes to all the schools that competed, and Winona National Bank for sponsoring the closed captioning.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Saint Mary's selling discount cards as Haiti fundraiser

WINONA, Minn. — On March 13, the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship class will begin selling special discount cards benefiting the Haiti Medical Mission of Wisconsin.

The “Red Card,” which will be sold for $10, includes reduced prices or discounts on merchandise from 19 local businesses including: Westgate Bowl, Mugby Junction, Fantastic Sams, Tres Compadres, Electric Beach, Golden China, Spa Panache, Chula Vista, Jefferson Pub & Grill, Warpzone, Perkins, Jimmy John’s, Ground Round, Sammy’s Pizza, GQ Hairstyling, Country Kitchen, Blooming Grounds, Papa Murphy’s and Timber’s.

The card can be used until March 1, 2011, and the card’s value is not limited. If the card is used at each business one time per month, the approximate annual savings to cardholders is $800. For a family of four, the estimated annual savings are doubled.

All proceeds will benefit the Haiti Medical Mission of Wisconsin, a team of volunteer medical staff that travels to Haiti several times each year to provide free medical care.

To purchase a card, you can
• e-mail your request to;
• visit the following participating businesses: Blooming Grounds, Jimmy John’s or Warpzone Video Games;
• come to the SMU Toner Student Center Information Desk;
• or watch for SMU students selling the card at local community events like SMU home baseball and softball games, Relay for Life on April 9, Ned Kirk’s Page Theatre performance on March 13-14, or at one of SMU’s tables at Earth Day April 17 in Unity Park.

Checks can be made payable to Saint Mary’s University and sent to 700 Terrace Heights, Box 1529, Winona, MN 55987.

For more information, contact Jana Schrenkler at or (507) 457-1491.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Saint Mary’s education programs approved, praised by Board of Teaching, MBSA

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University’s undergraduate and graduate teacher licensure programs and its Education Specialist in Educational Administration program have been approved and lauded this winter by two state governing boards. Accreditation was approved for maximum time periods without alterations.

Accrediting agencies, when making periodic reviews of all collegiate education departments, typically cite a college or university for items that must be amended before certification is granted or extended.

“That Saint Mary’s was identified as having model programs and did not receive any requests for alterations is a testament to the strength of our programs,” said Jim Bedtke, SMU vice president for the College and the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs. “Saint Mary’s is nationally recognized for providing quality education programs at all levels.”

Minnesota’s Board of Teaching has extended accreditation for Saint Mary’s undergraduate and graduate teacher licensure programs for the maximum seven years.

The Minnesota Board of Teaching review team noted the effective collaboration between faculty in the content areas and the education program, an advising process that is supportive and accessible, the strength of the clinical experiences, and the importance attached to the preparation of teachers at Saint Mary’s.

The review team wrote, “The Lasallian mission of Saint Mary’s is transparent and threaded through the education programs here. The students recognized the faculty’s commitment to social justice in education and indicated how they model that in their constructivist approach to teaching.”

Additionally, the Minnesota Board of School Administrators has approved the Education Specialist in Educational Administration program of the SMU Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs for the maximum five years. The Ed.S. in Educational Administration degree prepares candidates for three possible administrative licensures: K-12 Building Principal, Superintendent and Director of Special Education.

The Minnesota Board of School Administrators review team expressed appreciation for the university’s consistent mission-driven approach at all levels, from the administration to the students. The team was impressed by faculty and the preparation students receive for school leadership.

SMU hosts Girls’ Basketball Camp July 11-15

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University is hosting a Girls’ Basketball Camp July 11-15 for students entering grades five through 10 this fall.

This instructional camp gives special attention to the fundamentals of shooting, ball handling, passing and defense. Time is spent developing team concepts, as well as offensive and defensive game plans. Girls in each age group are challenged to compete and improve their skills against other campers their age. Seventy-five percent of the focus will be on individual skills during the camp, and the other 25 percent will be on team play.

Saint Mary’s women’s basketball coach Mandy Pearson will lead this camp, assisted by SMU women’s basketball team members. Campers will have the opportunity to play in the Cardinal’s home gym as well as have daily access to the Recreation and Athletic Center.

Rates are $375 before April 15 and $395 after April 15. These residential camps include lodging and meals from the evening of Sunday, July 11, through breakfast Thursday, July 15. Register and pay online at For more information, call (800) 635-5987, Ext. 6921 or (507) 457-6921.

10th SMU benefit dance to help Griffin family

Bob and Crystal Griffin and family

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University will present the 10th annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance from 8:30 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, March 20.

The beneficiaries of this year’s formal dance — open to the public — are Bob and Crystal Griffin and their family of Fremont. Crystal works in the Maintenance Department at Saint Mary’s, and the couple co-owns the Lewiston bowling alley, L.A. Lanes. They have three sons, ranging from age 5 to college-aged.

Bob underwent emergency surgery in May because of an infection in his back. Doctors removed two vertebrae and replaced them with titanium, leaving Bob with only a 1 or 2 percent chance of ever walking again. Determined, Bob is undergoing aggressive physical therapy in La Crosse, Wis. Money raised from the benefit dance and silent auction will help the family pay for medical bills and help the family make renovations to their home for handicap accessibility. The family also hopes to purchase a handicap-accessible van.

The benefit dance has become an annual tradition since its start in 2001 by students in honor of Taylor Richmond, son of Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry and Student Activities staff member Nikki Richmond. 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 Disney World. Each year this event benefits someone in the SMU community in need.

The dance, featuring music by the Johnny Holm Band, will be held in the Toner Student Center dining room. Ticket prices are $15 per person or $25 per couple. To purchase tickets or receive more information, contact Jason Richter at (507) 457-1648. Dance tickets will also be available at the door.

To make a donation, send checks — payable to the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance — to Richter at Saint Mary’s University, 700 Terrace Heights No. 45, Winona, MN 55987.

In combination with the dance, a silent auction will be held on campus from 9 a.m. to 3 pm. March 18-19. A variety of homemade goods, gift baskets and specialty items will be on display in the game room, located in the Toner Student Center.

SMU Concert Band to feature student soloist and conductor March 21

Kate Dullard and Ryan Ballanger

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Concert Band will present its annual early spring concert on Sunday, March 21. This performance will begin at 3 p.m. in Page Theatre, located in the SMU Performance Center. The concert will feature two senior band members: Ryan Ballanger as guest conductor, leading the band in Hazo’s “Solas Ane,” and Kate Dullard, piccolo soloist, performing “The Bird in the Wood” by Thiere.

The band, directed by Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, will also present composer Carl Schroeder’s “Minnesota Portraits,” a three-movement suite recently composed for the Calhoun-Isles Community Band in Minneapolis. The movements are inspired by the composer’s impressions of three Minnesota landmarks: Historic Fort Snelling, Lake Calhoun Sunrise and the Mississippi River. John Zdechlik’s famous “Chorale and Shaker Dance” is also on the program, along with works by Grainger, Creston, Shostakovich and Surinach.

This performance is part of a year-long exploration of Minnesota-based composers. Earlier concerts this season have included the works of Frank Bencriscutto and Dan Kallman. The SMU Concert band is comprised of 60 student and Winona-area community musicians and rehearses twice weekly throughout the academic year.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $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

If you are interested in performing with the SMU Band next season, contact the director at

Thursday, March 04, 2010

SMU to host High School Challenge tournaments

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University is sponsoring the final round of 2009-2010 High School Challenge — a tournament of knowledge — on Saturday, March 6, in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the SMU Performance Center. The Consolation Championship between Cotter White and Decorah Red begins at 8:30 a.m., and the final run for the Super Challenge is scheduled to follow.

The brackets for the Super Challenge features teams from Decorah, La Crosse Logan, West Salem Black, Cotter Blue, Lewiston, Holmen Maroon, Riceville, and Eau Claire Regis Green.

Thirty-two area teams from Eastern Minnesota, Western Wisconsin and Northeast Iowa started competing in High School Challenge in the fall for a chance to participate in the Consolation and Super Challenge tournaments. Participating teams earn scholarships for their schools.

The 2009-10 season marks the 39th year of the longest running academic competition for high school students in the area. The games will be taped by Fox 25/Fox 48 and aired Sundays, March 21 through May 9, from 10 to 10:30 a.m.

For more information, contact Nicole Gerdes, High School Challenge coordinator, at (507) 457- 1761 or

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Poet Laureate hosts poetry reading March 11

WINONA, Minn. — Winona’s Poet Laureate Ken McCullough will be hosting a poetry reading at Saint Mary’s University on Thursday, March 11. This reading — free and open to the public — is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the President’s Room, located in the Toner Student Center.

McCullough will be reading some of his recent poems, along with some of his favorites. Refreshments will be provided. Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, is sponsoring this event.

Ken McCullough’s most recent books of poetry are Obsidian Point, and Walking Backwards, as well as a book of stories, Left Hand. He has received numerous awards for his poetry including the Academy of American Poets Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Pablo Neruda Award, a Galway Kinnell Poetry Prize, the New Millennium Poetry Award, the Blue Light Book Award and the Capricorn Book Award. He was also awarded an Iowa Individual Artist’s grant and two Jerome Fellowships. McCullough has collaborated with Cambodian writer U Sam Oeur on a bi-lingual edition of his poetry, Sacred Vows, and a memoir, Crossing Three Wildernesses. McCullough lives in Winona with his wife, playwright Lynn Nankivil, and son Orion, and works at Saint Mary’s University.

For more information, contact Dr. Carolyn Ayers at (507) 457-1523 or

Saint Mary's honors faculty, staff, students, Lasallian educators at Founder's Day March 2

In honor of Founder’s Day March 2, Brother William, left, and Michael Gostomski, chairman of the SMU Board of Trustees, presented an honorary doctorate in educational leadership to Dr. Carmelita Quebengco for her work in the achievement of excellence in Lasallian higher education. Dr. Quebengco is currently executive vice president and chief operating officer of De La Salle Philippines, and chancellor emeritus of De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines.

WINONA, Minn. — At its Founder’s Day ceremony Tuesday, March 2, Saint Mary’s University presented an honorary doctorate to Dr. Carmelita Quebengco, executive vice president and chief operating officer of De La Salle Philippines, and chancellor emeritus of De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. Dr. Quebengco was presented an honorary doctorate in educational leadership for her work in the achievement of excellence in Lasallian higher education. She addressed the audience about developing effectiveness in a Lasallian university.

Also honored were a dedicated staff member, a Lasallian educator within Saint Mary’s, and two outstanding seniors. Founder’s Day is the annual celebration of the founding of Saint Mary’s in 1912 by Winona Bishop Patrick R. Heffron.

Brother William congratulates Mary Becker who received the Bishop Patrick Heffron Award.

Mary Becker received the university’s Bishop Patrick Heffron Award for Service. Becker has served in the Office of the President since 1993. As the administrative assistant to the president, she provides a daily example of service and commitment to the mission of Saint Mary’s University.

Brother Stephen Rusyn, FSC, Ph. D., receives the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award.

Brother Stephen Rusyn, FSC, Ph.D., was chosen as this year’s Distinguished Lasallian Educator. Brother Stephen is a long-time professor of English at SMU’s Winona campus who was chosen because of his attention and dedication to students. Distinguished Lasallian Educator Awards are given by many Lasallian institutions in the North American-Toronto Region of the De La Salle Christian Brothers; they honor contributions and commitment to the Lasallian mission of education.

Additionally, the Outstanding Male and Female Senior Awards were presented to students who have demonstrated the ideals of scholarship, character, leadership and service. Above all, these men and women have shown genuine concern for meeting the needs of others. The Outstanding Male Senior Award went to David Dahlstrom, son of William and Rosanne Dahlstrom of Rochester, Minn. The Outstanding Female Senior Award went to Mariana Sanchez, daughter of Jaime and Bernadette Sanchez, of Puebla, Mexico.

Dahlstrom is an accounting and human resource management major and university baseball player. During his college career, he has been involved with the Lasallian Honors Program, KSMR radio, Delta Mu Delta (the international honor society in business) and Delta Epsilon Sigma (the national scholastic honor society). He also has competed in intramural athletics and volunteered at the ITA Literacy Clinic.

Sanchez is majoring in graphic design. She was a member of the golf and soccer teams, and also played water polo and lacrosse club sports. She’s shared her passion for sports by serving as Big Red, SMU’s Cardinal mascot and has helped to recruit other athletes. Sanchez also has worked with phonathon and completed internships with the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and with Saint Mary’s Press. For a creative outlet, she has exhibited work in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries, designed T-shirts and event posters, and painted a mural in the Cardinal Club.

The following students were finalists for the 2010 Outstanding Senior Awards. Males: Gary Borash, son of Ron and Ann Borash of North Prairie, Minn.; Bill Duffert, son of Doug and Anne Duffert of Ramsey, Minn.; Zhe “Scott” Song, son of Shiqi Song and Haizhan Liu, of Xi’an, China; and Brian Smith, son of Brad and Sue Smith of Minneapolis, Minn. Females: Mary Gleich, daughter of Peter and Kathleen Gleich, of Hastings, Minn.; Vanessa Grams, daughter of Jean and Gregg Grams of Little Falls, Minn.; Molly Jewison, daughter of Dan and Marie Jewison of Janesville, Minn.; and Sarah Weir, daughter of Glenn and Veronica Weir of Oswego, Ill.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Flanagan to discuss book about Irish dance March 16 at SMU

WINONA, Minn. — Dr. Kathleen Flanagan, associate professor of theatre and dance at Saint Mary’s University will present, discuss and sign her new book, “Steps in Time: The History of Irish Dance in Chicago” Tuesday, March 16.

The public is welcome to enjoy Irish music and a display of the Mary Clare Karnick Irish History & Culture Collection beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the McEnery Center Lounge, located in SMU’s Fitzgerald Library. Flanagan’s book will be available for purchase.

Refreshments will be served, and the event is free. For more information, call Dr. Bill Crozier at (507) 457-1563.