Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chicago artist to display work at next Saint Mary’s exhibit


WINONA, Minn. — Chicago artist Cherith Lundin will display her work in “An excess of ground,” the next Saint Mary’s University art show.

Lundin’s work will be on display at the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries, located in the Toner Student Center. The exhibit is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. An opening reception is scheduled for 4:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, at the galleries.

Lundin is a visual artist whose work ranges in media from drawing and painting to photography and installation. Her work examines the architectural contours of every day life and extracts moments of fluidity within familiar spaces, where apparent dichotomies such as inside and outside, figure and ground, proximity and distance mingle.

Lundin grew up in Germany and received an M.F.A. from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and she has taught painting and drawing at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Minnesota Conservatory registration open house planned for Sept. 3


WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will hold its winter 2014 registration open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at 1164 West 10th St.

Here are five reasons to attend:

·      It’s a great opportunity to visit with facility, tour the studios and classrooms, and meet the talented instructors and staff.
·      The dance attire boutique will be open, and staff will assist with fittings and take orders for all of the dance classes.
·      It’s where you can learn more about programming including some great new classes.
·      Members of the Friends of MCA will be on hand to tell you more about hands-on volunteer opportunities.
·      You will be able to visit with members of the Winona and MCA community and meet new people who love the arts as much as you.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts offers programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre, year-round. Classes, lessons, workshops and camps are offered for youth ages 3 and older through adults.

Class days, times and tuition vary. Financial need-based scholarships are available. For a brochure and a complete listing, visit www.mnconservatoryforthearts.org, e-mail mca@smumn.edu, “like” them on Facebook, or call (507) 453-5500. Interested students may register online, by mail, or in person at MCA’s Valéncia Arts Center.

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.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts to conduct 'Nutcracker’ auditions Aug. 30

MCA students Amanda Whalen and Keegan Eide in a former production.

WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will hold auditions Saturday, Aug. 30, for its holiday production of The Nutcracker, to be performed at Saint Mary’s University Dec. 4-7. Auditions will begin at noon at the Valéncia Arts Center, 1164 West 10th St.

The Nutcracker tells the timeless tale of Clara as she is taken into a magical world filled with dancing candy, daring sword fights, and beautiful fairies.

There are numerous opportunities to become involved in this production, from performing in the spotlight to assisting behind the scenes. Roles are available for actors, dancers and community members ages 5 and older (including adults) at all levels of experience.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is a nonprofit arts organization, which offers programming in dance, music, visual art and theatre, year-round. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for youth ages 3 and older through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center.

For more information, go to www.mnconservatoryforthearts.org, e-mail mca@smumn.edu, “like” them on Facebook, or call (507) 453-5500. Auditions are free and open to the public.

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.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Piscitiello, Fox receive Christian Brothers honors

Brother Larry Schatz, FSC, Provincial of the Midwest District of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, presents Mary Catherine Fox, Ph.D., and Tony Piscitiello with their letters of affiliation.

WINONA, Minn. — Two dedicated and treasured colleagues at Saint Mary’s University, Tony Piscitiello and Mary Catherine Fox, Ph.D., have become part of the largest congregation of Brothers in the Catholic Church that is devoted exclusively to education. On Monday, Aug. 4, the two longtime champions of education on Saint Mary’s Winona campus became affiliated members of the Brothers of the Christian Schools at a special ceremony held in Saint Thomas More Chapel.

Affiliation is the highest and rarest honor bestowed by The De La Salle Christian Brothers. By affiliation, men and women, lay, religious, and members of the clergy are made members of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. At great personal sacrifice, affiliated members have participated to an extraordinary degree in the life and work of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. Fox and Piscitiello live the reality of faith, service and community on a daily basis.

Fox is a well-respected 1975 graduate of Saint Mary’s and has been employed at her alma mater since 1990, serving as dean of the School of Business, Computer Science and Media Communications; vice president for University Relations; and professor of Interdisciplinary Studies. She was a delegate to the De La Salle Christian Brothers USA/Toronto Regional Assembly in 2005 and the 1st International Assembly on Association & Mission in 2006. She served on the first Midwest District Mission Council including a term as chair, and has also served on the board of directors for Saint Mary’s Press. She received a Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award at the Huether Conference in 2013. She serves on the advisory board of the Institute for Lasallian Studies at Saint Mary’s, and has presented at both the International Leadership Conference of the International Association of Lasallian Universities and the Regional Lasallian Leadership Institute.

Piscitiello is an esteemed and invaluable member of the university’s Lasallian community for the past 45 years serving Saint Mary’s as an admissions counselor, vice president for admissions, executive vice president and senior development director. Piscitiello, a Catholic layman, has in thought, word and action helped the presidents of the university to ensure the future of the Lasallian Catholic educational mission at Saint Mary’s. He has served on numerous committees and task forces of the university and has been, for generations of Saint Mary’s graduates, the welcoming face of the university. In addition, he has served on the boards of directors of Cotter High School, Saint Mary’s Elementary Catholic School, and the Winona Area Catholic Schools Foundation and on the boards of advisors of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary. He received the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award at Saint Mary’s University on Founders’ Day in 2013. Piscitiello received his undergraduate degree in 1969 and his master’s in 1982, both from Saint Mary’s University.

The letters of affiliation, signed by then Superior General Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría, read:“I, the undersigned Superior General of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, acknowledge with joy and gratitude your outstanding collaboration with our Institute, the quality of your personal life inspired by Lasallian spirituality, and your active and long-lasting participation in our work of education. My Council and I wish to demonstrate our gratitude by associating you more closely with our religious family, and by presenting you with the present Letter of Affiliation. As an affiliated member, you share in the spiritual benefits of the prayers and apostolic activities of all those who are serving in the Lasallian mission, and of the Brothers of the Institute. ...”


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

MCA presents 2014 Summer Dance Intensive Showcase



WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will present the Summer Dance Intensive showcase at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Valéncia Arts Center Academy Theatre, 1164 West 10th St.

The showcase, which is free and open to the public, features works that the students participating in the Summer Dance Intensive have learned in their two-week dance camp.  A variety of dance forms will be presented, including classical and contemporary ballet, jazz, musical theatre dance, and modern dance. The works were choreographed by MCA guest artists Dustyn Martincich, Allan Kinzie, Jen TeBeest and Tammy Schmidt.

In addition to learning showcase pieces, students have been participating in comprehensive dance training including technique and theory classes throughout the two-week process. Class studies have included ballet, pointe, variations, pas de deux, repertory, jazz, hip hop, rhythm tap, modern, musical theatre dance, piyo, choreography and improvisation.

The students are from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa; range in age from 11 to 16; and were selected for the program by audition.

For more information about the Summer Dance Intensive showcase or future MCA program offerings, visit www.mnconservatoryforthearts.org, e-mail mca@smumn.edu, “like” them on Facebook, or call (507) 453-5500.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Saint Mary’s string camp students to perform public concerts July 18-20


WINONA, Minn. — Through Saint Mary’s University’s String Camp — held on campus July 13-20 — students ages 12-18 will work on developing their skills and musicianship to master many important aspects of string playing in the contemporary era. Throughout this eight-day camp, participants will have the opportunity to work closely and intensively with Saint Mary’s faculty to improve their skills in solo, chamber music and orchestral playing.

The public is invited to three free and public concerts by these talented young musicians:

July 18 — 7:30 p.m., student solo recitals
July 19 — 7:30 p.m., student chamber music recital
July 20 — noon, string orchestra concert

All concerts will be held in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the Saint Mary’s Performance Center.

The string orchestra will perform Mozart’s “Divertimento in F major, K. 138”; Coreelli’s “Concerto Grosso in D Major, opus 6 no. 4”; “Company” by Philip Glass; and “Capriol Suite” by Warlock. The student solo recital will include works by Mendelssohn, Bach, Vaughan Williams and Beethoven. The chamber music concert will include string quartets by Haydn, Mozart and Ravel.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Three alumni honored at Saint Mary’s Reunion Weekend June 20-22


         WINONA, Minn. — Each year during summer Reunion Weekend festivities, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota honors outstanding alumni.
            This year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient was Paul J. Meyer ’64, J.D. of Phoenix, Ariz.; the Alumni Appreciation Award was given to Thomas J. Baryl ’58 of Oak Brook, Ill.; and the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award was given to Nathan Semsch ’04 of Crystal, Minn. All three were honored during a reception Saturday, June 21, on the Winona campus.
            Approximately 450 alumni, family and friends returned for Saint Mary’s Reunion Weekend festivities, which began Friday, June 20, and ran throughout the weekend.

2014 Saint Mary’s Reunion Weekend Honorees:
 
Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary's University, with Nathan Semsch
Nathan Semsch ’04
Outstanding Young Alumnus

Nathan Semsch is currently a senior project manager with Sullivan/Day Construction, a commercial general contractor based in the Twin Cities. Throughout his time at Saint Mary’s University, he built many good friendships, as well as a reputation for helping others. Selected as Outstanding Senior, he served as president of the university’s Habitat for Humanity chapter for two years. His exceptional involvement at Saint Mary’s continues; in May 2012 he concluded six years of service on the Saint Mary’s Alumni Board, including two years as president. Semsch has assisted with several university initiatives including service days, last year’s Centennial and the First Generation Initiative.
 
Brother William with Thomas Baryl
Thomas J. Baryl ’58
Alumni Appreciation

Thomas Baryl received the Alumni Appreciation award for his lifetime support of Saint Mary’s University and other Lasallian Catholic institutions. Baryl is president of Peoples Auto Parking, a family business which manages and has owned several parking facilities in downtown Chicago, and which has diversified into banking investments and other commercial properties. Baryl has stayed active with his alma mater, serving as an alumni board member and president of the Chicago alumni chapter, as a financial contributor, a president’s advisory member, and as a supporter of the Chicago Centennial Celebration. He also has sponsored Chicago theatre alumni events.

Brother William with Paul Meyer

Paul J. Meyer ’64, J.D.
Distinguished Alumnus

After being selected an Outstanding Senior at Saint Mary’s, Paul Meyer went on to notable careers in law and business. Meyer served as the senior law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court, and he later became a managing partner of Meyer, Hendricks & Bivens, PLC in Phoenix, Ariz. Meyer was executive vice president and general counsel of Eller Media and then president and CEO of the Americas Division of Clear Channel Outdoor, the largest outdoor advertising company in the U.S. He is now president of Digital Sign Services of JCDecaux North America. Meyer is currently serving his second term on the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees. His generous financial contributions have significantly furthered the mission of Saint Mary’s University.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Saint Mary's professor, alumni play role with Fermilab’s MicroBooNE project




Father Paul Nienaber, Ph.D.
WINONA, Minn. — As the massive 30-ton MicroBooNE particle detector — a tool that may unlock many unexplained mysteries of the universe — was transported across the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermilab site today, a Saint Mary’s University physics professor watched with anticipation alongside the world’s leading physicists.

Father Paul Nienaber, Ph.D., associate professor of physics at Saint Mary’s, has been involved with the project since it was proposed in 2007. Additionally, four Saint Mary’s undergraduates (including, most recently, 2014 graduate Evan Shockley) worked on MicroBooNE as summer research interns from 2010-2012.

The MicroBooNE detector has been under construction for nearly two years. The tank contains a 32-foot-long “time projection chamber,” the largest ever built in the United States, equipped with 8,256 delicate gilded wires, which took the MicroBooNE team two months to attach by hand. This machine will allow scientists to further study the properties of neutrinos, particles that may hold the key to understanding many unexplained mysteries of the universe.

“The MicroBooNE collaboration is an amazingly talented and energetic group of scientists, many of whom are in the early stages of their careers,” Dr. Nienaber said. “Their enthusiasm and ingenuity is infectious, and I’m excited and grateful for having had the opportunity to contribute to an enterprise on which so many bright people have worked so hard. But this is just the beginning. Now that the detector is built and located in the particle beam line, much work remains to check all the detector systems under running conditions, and to begin to accumulate the estimated three years’ worth (minimum) of data from the run.”

Father Nienaber will continue to work as part of the MicroBooNE collaboration through its initial commissioning and data run stage (expected to last until the beginning of 2018).

“My role on the MicroBooNE experiment is as a collaborator from an undergraduate teaching institution,” Nienaber said. “I try to connect Saint Mary’s students to the physics profession in general and introduce them to the particular rewards and challenges of research. These efforts are of necessity not as central or as crucial as the ones made by laboratory scientists and students working full-time, but they have paid dividends for me and for Saint Mary’s students (as evidenced by Evan Shockley’s entering the physics Ph.D. program at Chicago) and have contributed to the success of the experiment.
“The four Saint Mary’s students and I worked on part of a detector subsystem; their summer stipends were paid by a National Science Foundation grant. It is unmistakably unusual that physics undergraduates from an institution like Saint Mary’s would have had the chance to be associated (in however small a way) with a project of this importance.”

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.