An update from the president to alumni and parents

Short-term study abroad combines classes with international study tours

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Students have returned from the travel portions of our three short-term study abroad programs, bringing back new global perspectives and insights. Part of offering a transformative educational experience at our residential College is providing opportunities to get off campus for internships, research, service trips, performances, athletics, and study abroad. These activities enrich the academic program, allowing students to widen their view of the world.

As alternatives to our semester-long study abroad programs, each short-term program included a classroom component during the spring semester, followed by a two-to-three week, faculty-led study tour in May. Shown above, Michael Ratajczyk led a business and cultural tour to China, “Chinese Business and Culture.” Preston Lawing and Rob McColl led an art program to Italy, “Introduction to Italy: History, Art, and Culture.” And, Dr. Kyle Black directed a Spanish program to Buenos Aires, Argentina, “Urban Studies of Buenos Aires Culture.”

Zoology students aid paddlefish research

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After spending the semester learning about organisms and organ function, botany and zoology students got the opportunity to see the uniquely adapted paddlefish up close. Students volunteered to assist Dr. Josh Lallaman with his paddlefish research in the Mississippi River. They applied their classroom knowledge to help investigate how a primitive fish species that has survived since the decline of the dinosaurs is currently threatened by human alterations to river habitat.

Relay for Life raises money to fight cancer

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At this year’s Relay For Life, held in the fieldhouse on April 17, students joined with faculty and staff in a marathon fund-raising effort for the fight against cancer. Relay For Life events across the globe bring communities together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. All in support of the good cause, our night was a combination of serious intent sustained by entertainment and fun activities (shown above).

PR/Business Club meets the pros


The Public Relations/Business Club heard from a panel of five communication professionals at the International Association of Business Communicators’ “Meet the Pros” event in St. Paul. Panelists were experts in the fields of crisis communication, corporate executive communication, public relations agencies, government communication, and internal communication. Saint Mary’s had the largest student contingent of any school. Students and faculty included Jase Pater, Ellen Moran, Gretchen Lueck, Eric Zeitlin, Grace Van Beest, Dean Beckman, Keyanna McGriff, Chloe Morrison, McKayla Collins, Tamerra Levi, and Elizabeth Adames.

Senior English and history students attend regional research conference

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In March, senior students in English and history attended “Undergraduates, Inc.,” a conference event in partnership with the Red River Graduate Student Conference at North Dakota State University. “Undergraduates, Inc.” is a rotating conference that was held last year on the Saint Mary’s campus, and it will return to Saint Mary’s next year.

In all, six history students and an English student were in attendance, including Ashling Meehan, Andy Meyer, Christine Volk, Brianna Theis, Naomi Theis, Reikel Biechler (all history students), and Lucas Sansovich (English). In addition to the student presentations, Dr. Erin Mae Clark gave a conference keynote on “Langston Hughes and the Holocaust.”

Alum gives virtual talk to reporting class

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Students in the Reporting I class had a virtual guest speaker in March, when Steve Adams ’08 joined them via video call from New York City. Adams—who majored in English Literature with a writing emphasis and took several public relations classes during his time at Saint Mary’s—writes for and is a fantasy baseball writer for Previously he worked as a copy writer and web content manager for a software development firm in the Twin Cities.

Chemistry, biochemistry students present at national conferences

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Three senior chemistry and biochemistry majors presented posters of their thesis research at national conferences. Biochemistry major Cody Gill and Chemistry major Bryan Lampkin (shown above) presented at the 249th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Denver. Gill’s poster was titled “Serum Testosterone Response in Mus musculus Supplemented with Creatine Monohydrate,” and Lampkin’s poster was titled “The Role of Acetic Acid on Kinetic Isotope Effects Observed in Pd(liPr)(OAc)2(H2O) Catalyzed Oxidation of Alcohols.”

At the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Boston, Biochemistry major Patrick Sweet presented a poster titled “Exploration of the Protein Cleaving Ability of 1,4,7-triazacyclononanecopper (II) Chloride.”

Buerkle tops list of spring sports honors

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Baseball player Ben Buerkle led the Cardinals to a 24-12 overall record this spring—their most wins in 20 years—and in the process collected a host of post-season honors. The sophomore from Roseville, Minn. was named Second-Team ABCA/Rawlings All-American, Third-Team All-American, and Third-Team Capital One Academic All American, along with all-conference and all-region honors.

Other student-athletes standing out in the spring season included track and field’s Morris Dennis, who won the conference title in the 400m dash and qualified for the NCAA national meet; and Tyler Kircher, who won the conference title in the hammer throw. See all the men’s and women’s sports results on the athletics website.

Spring brings new energy and activity

The hope of spring and longer days bring a freshness and energy to campus. The remaining weeks of the school year are filled with activities and events as we head toward commencement in May. Looking back on the winter months, our students have excelled in academics, the arts, and athletics, and they reach out to each other and the broader community. Let me tell you about just a few of the interesting things happening on campus.

— Brother William (Spring, 2015)

Five are honored at Founders’ Day ceremony

Founders Day

Outstanding Seniors Lauren Salonek and Joseph Budin with His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

At our Founders’ Day convocation this week we honored the Archbishop of New York as well as outstanding seniors, faculty, and staff. Founders’ Day is a highpoint of our annual De La Salle Week activities. During the ceremony, the university bestowed an honorary Doctor of Pastoral Ministry degree on His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan. Dr. Paul Weiner, professor of mathematics, computer science, and statistics, received the Brother H. Charles Severin College Faculty Award, and Sarah Wanger ’04, M’11, director of outreach for the Graduate School of Education, received the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award.

This year we were pleased to present the Outstanding Female and Male Senior awards to Joseph Budin and Lauren Salonek. Outstanding Seniors demonstrate the ideals of scholarship, character, leadership, and service, and show genuine concern for meeting the needs of others. Joe, the son of Bruce and Colleen Budin of Le Center, Minn., is a Computer Science major with Business and Art minors. Lauren, the daughter of Joel and Tammy Salonek of Watertown, Minn., is a double major in Psychology and Music. The other eight Outstanding Senior finalists included: Theresa LaValla, Janie Maki, Katherine Stolz, Mae Yang, José Castellanos, Bryan Lampkin, Paul Schmitt, and Patrick Sweet. See photos of the event.

Celebration of Scholarship puts student research and talents on display

scholarshipOne hallmark of a liberal arts university is the ability for students to engage in real-world, hands-on research and creative projects. On Friday, April 24, we will host our third Celebration of Scholarship to highlight and celebrate the diverse talents and skills of our students across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines. The event is organized into four sessions: the first three are various presentations or performances, followed by research poster presentations.

Well over 100 students will present their work at locations around the Winona Campus. Students, faculty and parents of presenters are encouraged to attend the day’s events. Sessions run from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., with a break from 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m. for lunch and Mass. A reception at 4 p.m. will be followed by the annual Honors Convocation at 4:45 p.m. in Page Theatre to recognize outstanding students in each discipline, students in honor societies, and those receiving campus-wide awards.

Winter sports teams enjoy success

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The men’s and women’s hockey and women’s basketball teams all had to put in overtime this season. And that’s a good thing. All three Cardinal squads earned invitations to the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Playoffs after successful regular seasons. Both men’s and women’s hockey coaches, Bill Moore and Terry Mannor, were named MIAC Coach of the Year in their sports.

The Cardinal men’s hockey team finished second in the regular-season standings and earned the No. 2 seed in the conference playoffs before bowing out in the title game. The women’s basketball team finished fourth in conference and won its first-round tournament game before falling in the semifinals. And the women’s hockey team also finished fourth in conference before falling short in the MIAC tournament quarterfinals.

On a mission to provide housing


The Saint Mary’s Habitat crew worked in Omaha in January.

In keeping with our Lasallian Catholic heritage and our mission to develop ethical leaders to serve society, our student chapter of Habitat for Humanity sponsored a Collegiate Challenge service trip to Omaha during the cold, early days of January.

Students worked with local Habitat staffers and volunteers, assisting with demolition in one home and with building two new homes. They lived together in simple conditions, cooked their own meals, and enjoyed the city of Omaha. Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry that builds homes for people in need regardless of race or religion. During the year, our student chapter is also involved with the local Habitat office in Winona.

Three short-term study abroad programs take off this spring

Study abroad

A previous short-term study abroad class traveled to Italy.

Study abroad opportunities enrich and broaden the academic program, allowing students to widen their view of the world. In addition to semester-long study abroad programs, this spring 35 students will take advantage of three innovative short-term programs.

Each program includes an in-class academic component during the spring semester, followed by a two-to-three week faculty-led study tour in May. Art faculty will lead a program to Italy, “Introduction to Italy: History, Art, and Culture,” while business faculty will lead a program to China, “Chinese Business and Culture.” And, languages faculty will direct a Spanish program to Buenos Aires, Argentina, “Urban Studies of Buenos Aires Culture.” Details on the programs are on our study abroad website.

Under-Told Stories Project brings international perspective to students

Under Told Stories

Fred de Sam Lazaro spoke to a public relations class.

A highlight of Multicultural Week was the Winona Campus visit of international journalist Fred de Sam Lazaro and producer Nikki See of the Under-Told Stories Project. Reports from the award-winning pair regularly appear on public television’s prestigious PBS NewsHour. They spoke in various communications classes, sharing stories and insights into their travels and work in documenting social issues in developing parts of the world.

De Sam Lazaro and See also spoke with students about changing human rights in India at our Dine with the Divine event, hosted by Campus Ministry. The Under-Told Stories Project is headquartered at our Twin Cities Campus and sponsored by our Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership.

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