Winona Campus Faculty and Staff Newsletter

Page Series presents free picnic operetta in the park

The Page Series at Saint Mary’s will present Mixed Precipitation’s picnic operetta, “Philemon and Baucis: Planet in Peril,” Sunday, Sept. 17, at 3 p.m. at Winona’s Unity Park. The free “Off the Page” event is the first of the 2017-2018 Page Series.

An edible opera adventure for the whole family, the picnic operetta is a nine-year tradition celebrating the harvest with a unique blend of music, horticulture, food, and storytelling. This year’s production features the music of Haydn, including “The Creation” and one of the composer’s rarely performed works, the marionette opera “Philemon and Baucis.” Re-imagined as a romantic, space-aged adventure, Haydn’s music is interspersed with songs by the glam rock band Queen to create a hybrid theatrical performance.

Returning from space exploration in a far off galaxy, space cadets Jupiter and Mercury return to earth to find humanity decimated by plague. Surviving citizens are cold, suspicious, and hooked on banality. The gods-in-disguise prowl about town looking for someplace to unveil their cabaret extravaganza, and no one will give these gods a chance but the downtrodden tavern of Philemon and Baucis. The family friendly production explores fear, displacement, and hospitality to strangers from another world in addition to conservation and environmental protection. 

With live musical accompaniment and a cast including veterans of Houston Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, and the Rose Ensemble, Mixed Precipitation’s 70-minute production offers a taste of classical music and opera while also letting loose with the ballads of Freddy Mercury and Queen. During the performance, audiences will be treated to small bites from chef Nick Schneider, who will work with Dream Acres farm to source-produce for the menu. Audience members with larger appetites are welcome to bring their own picnics as well.

Members of the creative team will give an artist talk at the Page Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 12:15 p.m. This free talk will introduce audiences to the production, how the creative team develops the show, and the art forms they employ, such as mime and opera.

The picnic operetta is free and suitable for audience members of all ages. In an effort to anticipate crowd size, the Page Series asks those interested in attending to please RSVP online (link available on or at Unity Park is located at 860 Parks Ave., behind Winona Health, and is accessible via Mankato Avenue and Highway 61. Additional information about the production, cast, and creative team is available at


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Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 announced

The Saint Mary’s Cardinal ‘M’ Club, in association with the Alumni Association, will induct three members into the Saint Mary’s Sports Hall of Fame during Cardinal ‘M’ Club Weekend Friday-Sunday, Sept. 8-10.

The 2017 Saint Mary’s University Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will honor former student-athletes Mark Zaremba ’78, Amanda Weinmann ’07, and Ashley Luehmann ’07

The trio will be honored during an awards ceremony on Friday, Sept. 8. Along with the induction of this year’s Hall of Fame class, Friday’s ceremony will also honor Saint Mary’s 2016-17 postseason award-winners, as well as unveiling the 2016-17 Outstanding Male and Female Athletes, and Outstanding Male and Female Scholar Athletes.

Here’s a look at this year’s Hall of Fame inductees:

Zaremba played in 118 games during his four seasons with the Saint Mary’s baseball team, compiling a .289 batting average—going 86-for-296 with 14 doubles, three triples and five home runs. He drove in 51 career runs and was walked 40 times. Zaremba enjoyed his best statistical season in 1978, when he hit .427 (41-for-96), with seven doubles, five triples, and three home runs. He scored 22 runs that junior season. His five triples during his junior season rank No. 2 all-time and his 25 walks as a senior in 1978 rank third, while his eight career triples leave him sitting sixth all-time.

Weinmann had a storied career as a member of the Saint Mary’s track and field team, claiming two Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles, three First-Team All-MIAC honors, not to mention earning NCAA Division III All-American honors three times in the shot put. Weinmann saved her best year for last, being crowned conference champion in both the weight throw (indoors) and shot put (outdoors), while also earning All-American honors in each of those events at the NCAA Division III National Championships. A double-major in bio-physics and engineering with a 3.99 GPA, Weinmann was selected Saint Mary’s 2007 Outstanding Female Athlete and Outstanding Scholar Athlete. She was also named 2007 MIAC Woman of the Year, was selected as one of the 10 NCAA Division III finalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year—not to mention earning ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors, and was one of 10 NCAA Division III female spring sport student-athletes awarded post-graduate scholarships by the NCAA. A three-time MIAC All-Academic Team selection and twice named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, Weinmann still holds the school record in the indoor shot put (13.46m), indoor weight throw (16.71m), and the outdoor shot put (13.72m).

Luehmann was a standout in two sports during her time at Saint Mary’s, spending her winter months leading the Cardinal women’s basketball team, before trading in her sneakers for track cleats in the spring. Luehmann was a three-time All-MIAC First-Team selection in basketball, and still holds the single-season and career records in 3-pointers made and 3-pointers attempted. She closed out her career scoring 1,438 points, and also ranks among the program’s top 10 all-time in blocked shots, free throws made, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws attempted, steals, and games played. As a field event specialist for the track and field team, Luehmann was the MIAC champion in the indoor shot put in 2007, was a six-time All-MIAC First-Teamer, made three NCAA Division III national championship appearances, and earned All-American honors with a sixth-place showing in the javelin in 2007. She was a two-time USTFCCCA All-Academic Team selection and still holds the school’s outdoor records in the discus and javelin.

Golf outing

Don’t forget to get your foursome registered for the 15th annual Cardinal ‘M’ Club Golf Outing, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 9, with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start at Cedar Valley Golf Course.

The cost is $100 per golfer prior to Sept. 1 and $120 after. The entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, a cart, and the sit-down dinner.

For more information or to register, go to

Summer science interns, staff participate in bioblitz at Kinstone

Alumna Kristine Beck, who owns and operates Kinstone Megalithic Gardens, hosted four students, two staff, and two biology professors to conduct the first ever “bioblitz” on the Kinstone property. The June 2 bioblitz was an initial attempt to begin documenting the native diversity of plants, animals, and fungi at Kinstone by engaging community members in the observation and collection of the data.

More than 100 species were observed and documented in an effort to establish continued monitoring of biodiversity in the area.  Participants included Abigail Propsom (Cascade Meadow intern), Katherine Ethen (Cascade Meadow intern), Severin Seifert (Summer science intern), Mark Leonard (summer work study), TJ Oberle (Residence Life assistant), Kathy Kilkus Allen (GeoSpatial Services), Professor Joshua Lallaman (Biology Department), and Professor Moni Berg-Binder (Biology Department).

Science students, recent grads collect data on Chisago Lake carp

Four students (Abigail Propsom, Severin Seifert, Chelsea Hiltner, and Jack Strusz) and two recent graduates (William Granholm and John Ethen) assisted Professor Joshua Lallaman (Biology Department) with measuring fish harvested during the annual Chisago Lake Carp Festival June 3.  Students collected data from more than 1,000 fish collected during the bowfishing tournament to help provide important scientific data to area lake managers. This is the second year that Saint Mary’s students and faculty have received support from Chisago County and the Chisago Lakes Area Watershed District to collect long-term data on the amount of carp harvest from area lakes.  This is part of an ongoing collaboration with the university to assess and control invasive carp populations in the region.

GSS staff members, student present at San Diego conference

Two staff members and one graduate student intern from GSS attended and presented at the Esri international users conference in San Diego this past July. Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute) produces the most widely used software for GIS, and their annual conference exposes approximately 16,000 Esri software users to more than 1,000 presentations, hundreds of hours of available training sessions, and over 300 exhibitors. Topics at the conference can range from archeology, agriculture, and public health, to water resources and wildland fire.

Kevin Stark, project manager at GSS, presented on an ongoing project to build a website for the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe to communicate wetland importance using Esri Story Maps. Kevin Benck, a GIS Analyst at GSS, gave two different presentations. His first presentation covered a recently completed online Story Map for “Wetland Jewels” on Santa Fe National Forest lands in New Mexico. His other presentation was on how GSS is working with Douglas County, Wis., environmental staff to incorporate data from a recently-completed wetland functional assessment, into a decision support matrix used to set wetland preservation, enhancement, and restoration priorities, as well as supporting ongoing and future county watershed planning efforts. Reed Fry, a Resource Analysis graduate student and intern at GSS, was selected as a student assistant for the conference. Student assistants provide support to conference staff and presenters and receive free conference registration and accommodations.

Young Alumni Weekend is Sept. 8-10

Young alumni from the classes of 2008-2017 are invited back to campus for a weekend filled with friends, good times, and new memories. Save the date for Young Alumni Weekend, Sept. 8-10 on the Winona Campus. To learn more visit

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