Winona Campus Faculty and Staff Newsletter

Founders’ Day is March 24

The Saint Mary’s University community will celebrate Founders’ Day on Tuesday, March 24, on our Winona Campus.

Founders’ Day celebrates the founding of the university by the Most Reverend Patrick Heffron, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona, over 100 years ago and the founding of the De La Salle Christian Brothers by Saint John Baptist De La Salle over 300 years ago.

Dr. Paul Weiner, professor of mathematics, computer science, and statistics, will receive the Brother Charles H. Severin, FSC, College Faculty Award. Sarah Wanger  ‘04, M’11, director of outreach for the Graduate School of Education, will receive the 2015 Distinguished Lasallian Educator award. Additionally the Outstanding Male and Female seniors will be announced.

All faculty, staff, and students are invited to join the festivities:

• Mass — 10:45 a.m., Saint Thomas More Chapel
• Convocation — 1:15 p.m., Page Theatre
• Reception — 3 p.m., Hall of Fame Room

Outstanding senior finalists announced

The following students are finalists for the Outstanding Senior Awards:

Females: Theresa LaValla, Janie Maki, Lauren Salonek, Katherine Stolz, and Mae Yang

Males: Joe Budin, Jose Castellanos, Bryan Lampkin, Paul Schmitt, and Patrick Sweet

Please take a moment to congratulate these students and thank them for their many contributions to our community.

Department of Theatre and Dance to stage spring comedy

Passions are unlocked and a family is turned upside down in Saint Mary’s upcoming production of “Uncle Vanya” March 25-29.

Under the direction of Jimmy Bickerstaff, the Department of Theatre and Dance will stage this comedy of country life by Anton Chekhov 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, March 25-28, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at 1164 W. 10th St.

“Vanya” Vointsky and his niece Sonya have been working in the Russian countryside, living frugally and keeping all their emotions tightly reined. The arrival of Vanya’s brother-in-law with his beautiful—and considerably younger—second wife Yeléna turns the entire family dynamics upside down. Tea, wine, and vodka fuel the tensions in this humorous story about unrequited love, thwarted ambition, and enduring hope.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and are available online at or at the Saint Mary’s box office, 457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

Segner, Schmitt present papers at Museum of Russian Art


English majors Anna Segner and Paul Schmitt presented research papers on Feb. 21, at the second annual Interdisciplinary Student Research Symposium at The Museum of Russian Art (TMORA) in Minneapolis.

Segner’s paper was titled “The Micro and Macro of Russian Landscape Art,” and Schmitt presented “Edge of the Forest as the Edge of Exile in Nabokov’s Early Short Fiction.” This event took place in connection with the exhibit “Life on the Edge of the Forest: Russian Traditions in Wood.”

Faculty members Dr. Carolyn Ayers (English) and Dr. Erich Lippman (History) serve on the symposium’s organizing committee, which includes representatives from a consortium of Minnesota colleges and universities, as well as the museum’s curator Masha Zavialova. TMORA, under the direction of Vladimir von Tsurikov, is a member-supported, non-profit museum dedicated to the preservation and presentation of all forms of Russian art and artifacts.

Papers from the student symposium will be published through the museum’s website,

Students make their mark in Mayo Scholars Program

The Mayo Innovation Scholars Program (MISP) recently concluded with presentations by 11 small colleges at the Mayo Clinic on March 5 and 6. Each school was assigned a real-life innovation and asked to conduct research on the feasibility of producing and marketing the item.

The MISP program was started to allow students to get hands-on research experience, but also as a way for Mayo to foster research and education.

Each school had a team composed of two science students, two business students, and a project leader who is an MBA student. Saint Mary’s was represented by Alexandra Thiel and Katie Miller from the Biology Department, and Marissa Jacob and Skylar Finkelstein from the Business Department. The project leader was Eric Miller, an MBA student at Augsburg College.

Professors Deb Martin and Larry Price served as faculty liaisons for Saint Mary’s.

The Saint Mary’s team did an exceptional job of researching and making recommendations on the proposal they were assigned (which is confidential intellectual property and cannot be disclosed).

The senior licensing manager for Mayo Clinic Ventures, Dr. Susan Stoddard, was very complimentary at the presentation and had this to say about the work of Saint Mary’s students: “I just wanted to repeat what a fine job you all did today.  It was a difficult project and I believe you did a very comprehensive job of covering all the complex aspects!”

Final FDC minigrant luncheon on March 16

The Faculty Development Committee invites faculty and academic staff to the final minigrant lunch (based on summer 2014’s minigrants) this year, with presentations by Drs. Moni Berg-Binder and Tycho De Boer from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Monday, March 16. Come when you can, leave as you must! Those attending receive a free lunch in the dining room for this meeting; please tell the Chartwells staff that you are attending the FDC lunch.  Lunch is available at noon.

Dr. Berg-Binder will present “Revisions of the Botany and Zoology courses.” Members of the Biology Department met during a 1.5 day workshop to consider revisions to the botany and zoology courses, including both lecture zintroductory biology course offerings at Saint Mary’s. They serve a diverse group of majors because students take the courses to satisfy general education and/or major (e.g., biology, education) requirements. First, the group considered how well the current botany and zoology courses satisfy the needs of Saint Mary’s learners. Then, the group developed a plan for how to adjust our introductory biology course offerings to improve the educational experience.

Dr. De Boer will present “Integrating My Side of the Mountain into H151: American History for Education Majors.” The project was aimed at integrating children’s literature and archival research into H151: American History for Education Majors. Based on research in the Jean Craighead George papers, archived at the Children’s Literature Research Center at the University of Minnesota, it challenges students to recognize the ways in which personal stories (in this case, George’s childhood in the outdoors with her falconer brothers) are part of larger historical developments and literary traditions, as well as the ways in which the collecting and writing down of these stories is a form of “doing” history as an academic discipline.

Celebration of Excellence planned for May 30

On Saturday, May 30, alumni, students, parents, and friends will gather for the Celebration of Excellence at the Saint Mary’s University Center in Minneapolis.

This annual event will reunite alumni and friends in celebration of the sciences at Saint Mary’s by showcasing the achievements of students and faculty; by honoring exceptional alumni and community leaders; and by garnering financial support to advance the sciences in the university’s second century. Watch for more information, and save the date!

DES inducts students


Saint Mary’s Delta Epsilon Sigma chapter is pleased to congratulate its newest members. Delta Epsilon Sigma, also referred to as DES, is a National Scholastic Honor Society for Colleges and Universities with a Catholic tradition.

The 2014-2015 annual DES chapter induction was held on Feb. 19. Moderator Dr. Shelly McCallum-Ferguson along with the DES faculty members welcomed 25 juniors and seniors, and one faculty member into DES.

New inductees are: students Emily Ahart, Laura Beyer, Lindsay Beyer, Caroline Blackwood, Jessica Buckbee, Allison Christensen, Megan Collins, Katherine Dean, Emily Diercks, Brendan Garvey, Crystal Gehring, Megan Hafner, Keara Hanna, Alex Hefel, Ellen Hinck, Amanda McCormick, Christine Meeds, Emily Norton, Sarah O’Connell, Madeline Puppe, Mark Schumacher, Kiya Virgin, Kelsi Watters, Emily Weber, and Saron Yifru; and faculty, Dr. Moni Berg-Binder.

Page Series welcomes Cherish the Ladies March 16

Prepare for a night of stellar musicianship, breathtaking singing, and lively step dancing Monday, March 16, as Cherish the Ladies takes the stage at Saint Mary’s.

One of the most highly regarded and sought-after Irish-American groups in Celtic music, the all-female band formed in the early 1990s as a one-time concert band for folklorist/musician Mike Moloney. The group takes their name from the name of a traditional Irish jig.

Cherish the Ladies 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 10 critically acclaimed records. The group has shared the stage and studio with such legendary performers as Joan Baez, James Taylor, the Clancy Brothers, the Chieftains, Arlo Guthrie, and Pete Seeger.

With their unique spectacular blend of 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.

Tickets to the Page Series performance are $27 for adults, $24 for students and seniors and are available online at or at the Box Office, 457-1715, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldie Moldies to perform at Signatures March 20

Catch dinner and a show with the Oldie Moldie All-Stars from Saint Mary’s University on Friday, March 20, at Visions Event Center in Winona.

Rock along to your favorite ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s tunes. 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.; the first set will be at 6 p.m.; dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.; and the Oldies will perform a second set at 7:45 p.m.

The admission price is $10 per person, and reservations can be made by calling Signatures at 507-454-3767. Guests can come for the music alone, or they may choose from a variety of entrees, priced at $14 per person (in addition to the admission cost):

•    Salisbury steak with mushroom brown gravy, mashed potato, chef’s fresh vegetable selection
•    Broiled cod with lemon and tartar sauce, wild rice pilaf, chef’s fresh vegetable selection
•    BBQ glazed chicken breast, baked potato with sour cream and butter, chef’s fresh vegetable selection
Additionally, a strawberry shortcake is offered for dessert ($3 each).

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

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