Winona Campus Faculty and Staff Newsletter

Saint Mary’s hosts REACH participants

The Winona Area Chamber of Commerce’s REACH pilot project (part of the chamber’s business/education network, which offers programming to develop the community’s future workforce by connecting area business and educational institutions) was on campus Sept. 5. In addition to using our ropes course, the group met with Sen. Jeremy Miller and Rep. Gene Pelowski.

Young Alumni Weekend draws 150

About 150 Saint Mary’s graduates from the past decade returned to campus for Young Alumni Weekend, Sept. 9-11. A full weekend of events included a young alumni gathering at Mulligan’s and an afternoon gathering on campus. The Oldie Moldie All Stars also gave a live concert. See photos from the weekend at

Family Weekend is Sept. 29-Oct. 1

Family Weekend is right around the corner and lots of family-friendly events are being finalized.

A highlight of the weekend includes the musical talents of our students. Mark your calendars for the jazz ensemble performance 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29; the choirs and concert band take the stage 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30. Tickets are available at, or by calling the box office at 457-1715 from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Check back to for more information.

Convocation to feature Vietnamese American poet Bao Phi

As part of our annual college convocation Tuesday, Sept. 12, Saint Mary’s is hosting an interactive presentation by Bao Phi, a Vietnamese American poet, writer, and community activist.

Phi’s emotional and thought-provoking presentation—titled “Why Poetry, Why Now?”—is free and open to the public beginning at 7 p.m. in the university’s Page Theatre. A performance poet since 1991, Phi uses his art to touch on subjects like race, class, love, and violence in his own life and in Asian-American communities. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he grew up in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis. He is currently program director at the Loft Literary Center, where he started as a receptionist 15 years ago.

A two-time Minnesota Grand Slam champion and a National Poetry Slam finalist, he has performed as a featured artist all over the United States, has appeared on HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, and a poem of his appeared in the 2006 Best American Poetry anthology. In 2012, the Star Tribune’s inaugural “Best of Minnesota” issue named Bao Phi as Best Spoken Word Artist. He has also been named a City Pages artist of the year.

His first collection of poems, Sông I Sing, was published by Coffee House Press in 2011. For his second collection of poems, Thousand Star Hotel, published in this past summer, also by Coffee House, he was selected by Minnesota Monthly as Author of the Year. His first children’s book, A Different Pond, was recently published by Capstone Press.

Following his presentation, the author will sign copies of his books in the Fitzgerald Library on Saint Mary’s Winona Campus.

Celebrate Winona’s college students at the Visitor Center

Celebrate the return of Winona’s college students on Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Winona Visitor Center (160 Johnson St.) between the lakes during the monthly “Second Saturdays” event: “College Bound: Winona and Its Students.”

Families, students, and community members of all ages are invited to participate in fun and interactive games and activities with representatives from Saint Mary’s University, Minnesota State College Southeast, and Winona State University from noon to 2 p.m. Win prizes, pose with mascots, challenge yourself to a “Win-on-a Trivia” game for a chance to win a Winona T-shirt, and enjoy discounts off additional Winona and Minnesota merchandise. For more information, call 507-452-0735 or email Kate at

Visit Winona launched the “Second Saturdays at the Visitor Center” series in August as a way to engage area residents and showcase topical and relevant information about our region, as well as provide additional entertainment and activities for visitors each month.

Students join Faber in banding herring gulls

In mid-June, Cascade Meadow student interns Katherine Ethen and Abigail Propsom worked with Dr. Ray Faber placing U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service bands on 350 young herring gulls on islands in Door County, Wis. Their goal was to band 500 of these birds, but bad weather and high water levels limited the effort. This work is part of a long-term study of the effects of contaminants on herring gull biology. In 2015, a herring gull banded in 1986 by Dr. Faber was documented still alive in Michigan. At 29 years, 3 months, it is the oldest record of a banded herring gull in North America.

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