Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Saint Mary's University honors Chicago doctor, meteorologist

Tom Skilling, chief meteorologist for WGN-TV, received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota May 17 at a Chicago reception. Shown are, from left: Brother Robert Smith, vice president of Saint Mary’s Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs; Michael Gostomski, chair of the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees; Skilling; and Dr. Donna Aronson, vice president of academic affairs.

Dr. Robert Dolehide was awarded the Presidential Award for Outstanding Merit from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota May 17 at a Chicago reception. Dr. Dolehide — a Saint Mary’s alumnus and esteemed medical doctor who practiced in the Chicago area for more than 50 years — and his wife Eileen are congratulated by Brother Robert Smith, vice president of Saint Mary’s Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs.

WINONA, Minn. — On May 17, close to 270 alumni and friends of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota gathered in Chicago to celebrate the university’s longstanding legacy of excellence in the sciences.

Two special guests were honored at the event, held at the Union League Club. Dr. Robert Dolehide, a 1947 alumnus of Saint Mary’s, received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Merit for more than five decades of compassionate and exemplary medical practice in Chicago. Also honored was Chicago broadcasting legend Tom Skilling, WGN-TV chief meteorologist, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree for his contributions to the science of meteorology and his paralleled résumé of award-winning broadcasts, films and seminars in climate science.

Dr. Dolehide was applauded for his tireless service as a physician to thousands of patients in the Chicago area for 50 years, for his positive and long-lasting impact on generations of families and for his remarkable life as a physician, family man and for enthusiastically supporting a variety of social causes.

Skilling was lauded for his “professional competence, significant accomplishment and influential contributions to the field of meteorology and television journalism,” as well as for conducting free weather seminars and for sharing his love of science and research for others.

The event, titled the Brother Charles Severin Celebration of Excellence, was named for a renowned science faculty member at Saint Mary’s University in Winona. Brother Charles started teaching ecology at Saint Mary’s in 1934, using the river bottoms, bluffs and trout streams of the area as his laboratory. Nearly six decades of learners benefitted from his pioneering teaching methods, knowledge and dedication.

The annual event showcases the achievements of Saint Mary’s students and faculty; honors exceptional alumni and community leaders; and garners financial support to advance the sciences during the university’s second century.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Saint Mary's dean, chair of state arts board attends White House reception for Turnaround Arts

WINONA, Minn. — Winonan Michael Charron, dean of the School of the Arts at Saint Mary’s University and chair of the Minnesota State Arts Board, was invited by First Lady Michelle Obama to attend a White House function Tuesday, May 20.

During the occasion, Mrs. Obama announced the expansion of the Turnaround Arts program — an arts education initiative to help improve low-performing schools. The program launched as a pilot program in April 2012 in eight schools across the country and was developed through the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council.

The Turnaround Arts initiative is a public-private partnership designed to narrow the achievement gap and increase student engagement through the arts. Working in some of the nation’s lowest-performing elementary and middle schools, this program will test the idea that high-quality and integrated arts education boosts academic achievement, motivates student learning and improves school culture in the context of overall school reform.

Minnesota is one of three states (the others being California and Louisiana) chosen to participate in Turnaround Arts educational programming for the upcoming year. Following an application process, four Minnesota schools will be chosen, according to Charron.

“We will not replace subject matter or teachers, but we will provide training; we work with the school to integrate arts into their curriculum,” Charron said. “A direct correlation has been made between the arts and a wide range of benefits to students including academic achievement, school involvement, and social and emotional development. We will be working with current school staff and provide expertise from arts education specialists and will incorporate local artists and at least one nationally known artist to assist the school. We’re not there to replace, but to add to what schools are doing.”

In fact, he said, every school in the pilot program showed improvement in math and reading scores after just one year.

“I’m just so moved by the work that is being done,” Charron said. “And I’m honored to be a part of it. Visiting the White House has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The Minnesota State Arts Board is acting as the program’s fiscal agent at the state level, partnering with the Perpich Center for Arts Education.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Saint Mary's University honors Thomas Kilbride with honorary degree

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride, J.D., received a Doctor of Ethical Leadership from Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary’s University, left; and Michael Gostomski, chair of the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees, right.

WINONA, Minn. — In recognition of 30 years of service and ethical leadership as a committed public servant, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride, J.D., a 1978 Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota alumnus, was presented with an honorary doctorate by Saint Mary’s at its commencement ceremony May 10 in Winona.

Justice Kilbride was awarded a Doctor of Ethical Leadership degree, honoris causa, for conscientiously serving the people of the State of Illinois for more than 30 years. His career began as an attorney in Rock Island, Ill., where he engaged in the general practice of law while providing significant pro bono service to clients and organizations. He was elected to the Supreme Court of Illinois for the Third District in 2000 and served as Chief Justice from 2010-13. The award honors him for his “outstanding leadership, professional competence and significant accomplishment.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Conservatory for the Arts’ Tap Showcase is May 22

WINONA, Minn. — In honor of National Tap Dance Day, students from the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will present a Tap Showcase Thursday, May 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Saint Mary’s University’s Figliulo Recital Hall.

The showcase will highlight the talents of students who range in age from 8 to 20. They will be performing rhythm tap pieces they learned in workshops this month as well as a demonstration of Irish step dancing. The evening will also include a special tap history presentation featuring the “Shim Sham Shimmy,” a dance known as the national anthem of tap. The showcase is open to the public, and freewill donations will be accepted.

Students performing in the Winona showcase will include: Rory Briggs, Carter Briggs, Megan Costello, Hannah Graff, Nathan Graff, Viva Graff, Ariana Jacobs, Hannah Schwarze, Max Uribe, and Lucy Wilfarht. The showcase is choreographed by MCA tap instructor Christine Martin.

For more information about MCA’s National Tap Dance Day Showcase or other arts programming, visit www.mnconservatoryforthearts.org, email MCA@smumn.edu, or call (507) 453-5500.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Saint Mary's commencement ceremony scheduled for May 10

WINONA, Minn. — On Saturday, May 10, the Winona campus of Saint Mary’s University will host a joint commencement ceremony for both Winona undergraduate and graduate students, beginning at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium.

Undergraduate student reflections will be offered by this year’s Outstanding Male and Female Seniors Amy Spitzmueller, daughter of Kathy and Bill Spitzmueller of New Brighton, Minn., and Miles Dunna, son of Wokie Dunna of St. Paul.

Representing SMU’s Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, Stephanie Nuttall, an M.S. in Geographic Information Science graduate, will also give a reflection. Courtney Leasure Clark, M.A. in Philanthropy and Development, and Kathleen Junko, M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, will be presented with Outstanding Graduate Final Paper Awards.

A reception on the plaza will follow the ceremony. In case of inclement weather, the reception will be held in Gostomski Fieldhouse.

Prior to the ceremony, a Baccalaureate Mass will take place in Saint Thomas More Chapel at 8 a.m.

Limited parking will be available. A shuttle service will be provided from a nearby parking lot. More information is posted at www.smumn.edu/commencement.

The Saint Mary’s Nairobi campus hosted its commencement ceremony on May 3. The Twin Cities campus will conduct three summer commencement ceremonies on June 1.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Saint Mary’s presents Student Life awards to students, faculty, staff

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University recognized outstanding students, faculty and staff April 23 at the Student Life Awards Ceremony. Individuals who have exhibited outstanding leadership and service through co-curricular activities at Saint Mary’s were recognized.

Awards included:

Brother Finbar McMullen Award (presented to an SMU community member who demonstrates him/herself to be an individual who unselfishly meets the needs of the undergraduate students of Saint Mary’s) — Brother Lawrence Humphrey, FSC, assistant vice president for mission at Saint Mary’s

Charlene “Char” Tjaden Outstanding Resident Assistant Award — Theresa LaValla, daughter of  John and Susan LaValla of Saint Charles, Minn.

Intramural Official of the Year — Courtney Euerle, daughter of Greg and Sharon Euerle of Litchfield, Minn.

Outdoor Leadership Recognition — Jamie Herrick, strength and conditioning coach, physical education instructor and facilities assistant, as well as ropes course facilitator at Saint Mary’s

Club/Organization of the Year — Big and Little Pals (accepted by Mae Yang, daughter of Yeng and Panee Yang of Minneapolis, Minn., and Kacie Kusinski, daughter of Dan and Janet Kusinski of Chicago)

Outstanding Student Senator of the Year Award — Miles Dunna, son of Wokie Dunna of St. Paul, Minn.

Club and Organization Advisor of the Year — Steven McGlaun, dean of campus ministry at Saint Mary’s

Winona Community Service Award — Katie Wall, daughter of Michael and Michelle Wall of Aurora, Ill.

Saint Benilde Award (presented to students who reach out to new members of the university community, are inclusive and inspiring, and lead by being hospitable, open and accepting) — Sarah McNary, daughter of William and Donna McNary of DeForest, Wis.

Brother James Miller Award (presented to a student who has dedicated his/her college experience to promoting the legacy of Brother James Miller, spreading the compassion of God and continually serving the community) — Elizabeth Arnold, daughter of Thomas and Patricia Arnold of Cincinnati, Ohio

Brother Charlie Burke Award (presented to a faculty or staff member who has made significant contributions to the entire Student Life Department. This individual has promoted the growth of the whole student through their exemplary standard of ethical service, dedication to creating developmental relationships, and their desire to promote lifelong learning) — Lance Thompson, director of student activities at Saint Mary’s

Student Service Award — Abigail Osborne, daughter of Roger and Pamela Osborne of Winthrop, Minn.

Leadership Certificate (presented to students who have completed the co-curricular program designed to give both emerging and advanced leaders the skills and knowledge to enhance his or her leadership development) — Samantha Borawski, daughter of Richard and Cynthia Borawski of Stickney, Ill.; Maetzin Cruz-Reyes, daughter of Rosario Cruz Garcia and Luisa Reyes-Ortiz; Conner Ellinghuysen, son of Robert and Lorrie Rinn of Winona; Hannah Friedrich, daughter of Mary Friedrich of Rochester, Minn.; Peter Hegland, son of James Hegland of Utica, Minn.; Jose Herrera, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jose Herrera of Chicago; Elisabeth Ortega, daughter of Elizabeth Ortega of Berwyn, Ill.; Christine Volk, daughter of Bryan and Kim Volk of Champlin, Minn.; and Emily Weber, daughter of Lawrence and Anne Weber of White Bear Lake, Minn.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Rosanne Cash to kick off 2014-15 Page Series lineup at Saint Mary’s

WINONA, Minn. — The 28th season of the Saint Mary’s University Page Series is once again filled with music, dance, theatre and family-friendly offerings from around the world!

You don’t have to travel far for world-class entertainment. Season subscriptions go on sale May 13. Individual tickets go on sale Aug. 19.

Purchase tickets to three or more events to receive a 10 percent discount for new subscribers; returning 2013-14 subscribers receive 25 percent off the total order. Subscribers also have exchange privileges and guaranteed seating choice.

To order after May 13, go online to www.pagetheatre.org or call the Saint Mary’s box office, (507) 457-1715, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The 2014-15 Page Series

• Wednesday, Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Rosanne Cash
Singer, songwriter
Tickets: $30 for adults, $27 for seniors and students
Daughter of American icon Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash has blazed a path of her own with thoughtful, heartfelt songs of love, loss, and country living. Her most recent recording The River & The Thread has been critically acclaimed by NPR as a masterpiece and “a timeless work of comfort and quiet joy.” The recording etches out a memorable musical journey through her past. “I feel this record ties past and present together through all those people and places in the South I knew and thought I had left behind,” said Cash. Cash has recorded 15 albums, including 1981’s Seven Year Ache and 1987’s King’s Record Shop – which both certified Gold. She has charted 21 Top 40 country singles, 11 of which climbed to No. 1. She has received 12 Grammy nominations, winning in 1985. Cash has also published four books, including her 2010 bestselling memoir, Composed, which The Chicago Tribune hailed as “one of the best accounts of an American life you will likely ever read.”  An intimate evening featuring Rosanne Cash and guitarist-husband John Leventhal will surely attract both loyal fans and those finding her for the first time.

• Friday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.
Intergalactic Nemesis by Robot Planet
Live graphic novel
Tickets: $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and students
Drama, humor, science fiction, and audience participation will combine for an evening of theatre magic. Using the sound effects of radio drama, super-sized projections of a graphic novel, a live keyboard player, and live actors playing various parts, the premise is simple: a period adventure story (with no small share of laughs) featuring Pulitzer-winning reporter Molly Sloan, her intrepid assistant Timmy Mendez, and a mysterious librarian named Ben Wilcott. The three face the most serious threat Earth has ever known: an impending invasion of sludge monsters from the planet Zygon. Appropriate for all ages, this show will have gamers, science fiction fans, radio drama fans, and people just looking for an entertaining evening of adventure and fun on the edge of their seats, shouting for more.

• Tuesday, Oct. 7, 6:30 p.m.
Curious George by Theatreworks USA
A lot of monkeying around
Tickets: $14 for adults, $6 for seniors and students
in this delightful new musical, the inquisitive, lovable little monkey Curious George, star of books, movies and the award-winning PBS television show, works to help his friend win the world-famous Golden Meatball Contest in Rome. All–You-Can-Eat Meatball Day came just once a year. George had been waiting all month for that day, a day almost bigger than his birthday! On Meatball Day, George helped his friend Chef Pisghetti cook some delicious meatballs, and serve them to the hungry crowd. But this year, the crowd had vanished!

Theatreworks USA often visits the Page Theatre stage; last season they performed Teacher From the Black Lagoon. Some of their alumni include actor Henry Winkler, four-time Tony-winning director Jerry Zaks, two time-Tony Award winner Robert Lopez, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, John Glover and many more. Theatreworks USA's goal is to continue doing what it has successfully accomplished for more than 50 years: giving America’s children their first thrilling day at the theatre!

• Thursday, Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m.
The Creole Choir of Cuba
Stories of Haitian ancestors
Tickets: $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and students
This vibrant 10-piece group — five men and five women who dance when they sing — are a cornucopia of remarkable voices. Multiple award winners, this Grammy-nominated choir sings the vital music learned at home from grandparents and parents, as well as the songs of some of the foremost groups of contemporary Haitian scene. The Creole Choir’s Cuban name Desandann means literally ‘descendants.’ With songs like Papa Danbala, Tandé, or Liman Casimir, they tell the stories of their Haitian ancestors who were brought to Cuba to work in the near slave conditions in the sugar and coffee plantations until the 1959 Revolution. Desandann sing in Creole, Cuba’s second language, spoken by almost a million people, a pragmatic fusion of African, French, and other languages. It’s the language of a people twice exiled: first to Haiti from Africa through the slave trade; then from Haiti to Cuba tricked into second slavery by their French masters after the Haitian Revolution of 1790. Other Haitians arrived in the 20th century fleeing political upheaval, poverty and oppression during the barbaric regime of Papa Doc Duvalier who held power from the 1950s to ’70s — marked by reigns of terror and the brutality of his private militia, the Tonton Macoutes. The Philadelphia Inquirer calls the choir’s performance “as much for the emotions and gut as it is for the ears and eyes.”

• Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
Janet’s Planet
Explore the universe
Tickets: $14 for adults, $6 for seniors and students
Explore the vast universe with PBS’s “Janet’s Planet.” By focusing on science, technology, engineering, art and math, “Janet’s Planet” travels at the “speed of thought” and is designed to fuel STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) potential in elementary school-age kids through the use of multimedia and theatre. Available on more than 140 public television stations nationwide, Janet Ivey of “Janet’s Planet” is excited to bring the wonders of the galaxy to the Page Theatre stage.

• Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Hector Del Curto Quintet
Argentinean Tango
Tickets: $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and students
The Argentinean Tango has been in the Del Curto family since the early 1900s. Hector Del Curto’s great grandfather was a bandoneonist and composer, and his grandfather, also a great bandoneon player, introduced Hector to the world of Tango and the bandoneon. By the age of 17, Hector Del Curto had won the title “Best Bandoneon Player Under 25” in Argentina, and was invited to join the orchestra of the legendary Osvaldo Pugliese, the “Last Giant of Tango.” Del Curto has captivated audiences around the world as a soloist and chamber musician, sharing the stage with world–renowned tango legends, as well as with symphony orchestras and ballet companies worldwide.

• Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
Monkey Mind Pirates by Z Puppets Rosenschnoz
Pirates and puppets
Tickets: $14 for adults, $6 for seniors and students
A family-friendly pirate show will come to town with the Z Puppets Rosenschnoz production of Monkey Mind Pirates. This is the world’s only puppet, rock, yoga opera for families in search of calm. Sail along with this epic tale of a sea captain discovering how to navigate the stormy seas of stress. When Captain Fitz sets out for the Legendary Waters of Calm, the unruly Monkey Mind Pirates hijack his ship with anxiety, depression and distraction. The chaos turns his ship upside down and drives the captain overboard, where he meets the Wise Sea Monkey. Find out how the captain learns to turn his “arrghs” into ‘oms,” regain peace and tame the Monkey Mind Pirates.

Based in Minneapolis, Z Puppets tours their family-friendly comedies across the country. Appearances have included the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, the National Puppetry Festival, the Walker Art Center and Boston’s Puppet Showplace Theatre. Z Puppets artists Shari Aronson and Chris Griffith have earned many awards, including support from the Jim Henson Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Puppeteers of America and the Minnesota State Arts Board. The Monkey Mind Pirates CD has won an award of excellence from Creative Child magazine.

• Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
TU Dance Company
Powerful contemporary dance
Tickets: $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and students
The Twin Cities-based TU Dance Company culminates a three-day residency with a full evening performance. Led by Alvin Ailey veterans Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, TU Dance has quickly become a leading voice in the Minnesota dance scene. Founded in 2004, TU Dance has garnered audience and critical acclaim for its diverse repertory, versatile artists, and for performances that are engaging, dynamic and generous. Modern dance, classical ballet, African-based and urban vernacular movements are combined in inventive and unpredictable ways to provide opportunities for audiences, whoever they are, to experience the connective power of dance.

• Monday, March 16, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Cherish the Ladies
Celtic Music
Tickets: $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and students
This Celtic musical group, Cherish The Ladies, takes their name from the name of a traditional Irish jig. The group initially won recognition 25 years ago as the first and only all-women traditional Irish band. In a relatively short time, they established themselves as musicians, garnering many thousands of listeners and fans of their music. With their unique spectacular blend of virtuosi instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing, this powerhouse group combines all the facets of Irish traditional culture and does so with humor and entertaining stories.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

* PLEASE NOTE: Online orders will incur additional fees.

Student price includes ages 4 and older. $10 student rush tickets may be available for some events 20 minutes before curtain.