Saint Mary's Newsroom / Campus NotesWinona Campus Newsletter
You’re invited to the Inauguration of Father James P. Burns on Friday, Oct. 5.
Come be part of history as we recognize our 14th president, Father James P. Burns, during a very special day to remember. As we showcase our campus, network and connect with leaders in business, government, and education. Enjoy a special community luncheon and sample a variety of tasty hors d’oeuvres during the reception.
Watch for more details of how to get involved and for special student events tied to the celebration weekend including:
- Service opportunities on campus.
- A Saturday afternoon soccer tailgate party with games, inflatables, and giveaways.
- A Saturday artisan fair on the plaza with music, food and artisan vendors, farmer’s market tables and more, sponsored by the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.
- Additional photo shoots for the “I am Saint Mary’s” photo display.
Oct. 5 inauguration schedule
10:15 to 11:30 a.m. — Inauguration Mass
Saint Thomas More Chapel
11:45 to 1 p.m. — Lunch
This is a community lunch for our faculty, staff, and students.
2 to 4 p.m. — Inauguration Convocation
Gymnasium, Toner Student Center
The choir and concert band will perform; students will display the flags of their native countries; flowers and displays will decorate the campus.
4 to 5 p.m. — Inauguration Reception
For more information, go to smumn.edu/inauguration.
Students RSVP here: mysmumn.org/inaugurationstudent
Faculty RSVP here: mysmumn.org/inaugurationfaculty
Staff RSVP here: mysmumn.org/inaugurationstaff
Saint Mary’s alumna Dr. Holly Schuh ’08 is on campus today, Friday, Sept. 14, to give a presentation titled “Painting, Piano, People, and Public Health: exploring career pathways with intentionality and adaptability” at 2:30 p.m. in the Science and Learning Center auditorium. All are in invited to attend.
Dr. Schuh completed an individualized major in visual arts with a concentration in business, plus minors in biology and music, here at Saint Mary’s in 2008. Since then, she completed a Masters in Public Health at Loma Linda University, and a Ph.D. in International Health and Health Systems at Johns Hopkins University. She will trace and detail the career pathway that has allowed her to travel around the world studying complex adaptive systems and the factors that can change their behavior as they relate to public health.
Sustain Winona and the Izaak Walton League of America have partnered together to put on the very first Winona Water Day, Saturday, Sept. 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All are invited to this free event where participants can learn all about the ways we are connected to water and the variety of ways to help protect it.
Transportation will be provided. Vans will circle between Levee Park, Saint Mary’s University, and Gilmore Creek. Attendees can learn about water quality and Winona’s conservation history during short educational presentations at Saint Mary’s University. Join in the fun at Gilmore Creek by jumping in or spending time with the Izaak Walton League for stream monitoring demonstrations. Levee Park will feature a variety of organizations including Whitewater State Park and their LEGO watershed model, Winona County Soil and Water Conservation District, Healthy Lake Winona, Izaak Walton League – Upper Mississippi River Initiative, the City of Winona, National Trout Center, Water Bar & Public Studio, and much, much more!
Contact email@example.com if you have questions.
Students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend a presentation on Adverse Childhood Experiences on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Science and Learning Center. Presenter Victor Vieth is the founder of and a consultant with the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center; president of the Academy on Violence & Abuse; and director of education and research at the Zero Abuse Project. He will give an overview of research regarding Adverse Childhood Experiences and provide concrete suggestions for recognizing and responding to trauma.
This event is being sponsored by Hope Harbor and Saint Mary’s University’s School of Education. Free will donations will be accepted to benefit Hope Harbor.
Dr. Larry Dieterman passed away peacefully at his home in Winona on Sept. 12. A wake/visitation is planned for Friday, Sept. 21, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Fawcett Junker Funeral Home and a funeral Mass will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at St. Mary’s Parish.
Dr. Dieterman taught in the Chemistry Department at Saint Mary’s from 1963-1999. His wife, the late Shirley Dieterman, was the daughter of former baseball coach, Max Molock. Shirley preceded Larry in death and worked as a lab tech in the Chemistry Department at Saint Mary’s from 1989-2004. The couple has many ties to Saint Mary’s. Survivors with ties to Saint Mary’s include sons Daniel Dieterman ’83, Douglas Dieterman ’92 and Scott Dieterman ’84; two grandchildren, Felicia Dieterman ’15 (daughter of Doug), and Tyler Dieterman ’08 (son of Scott); and a daughter-in-law Eve (Kendrick) Dieterman ’85, (spouse of Dan).
His obituary can be found here. Saint Mary’s extends its sympathy to the Dieterman family.
Saint Mary’s University science interns spent the summer researching area bat habitats, testing local waters, and removing invasive species.
Not only did they gain valuable research techniques and knowledge (like how to distinguish the call of a brown bat from a red bat, how to avoid wild parsnip, and what effects nutrient pollution has on water quality), they also learned how their work can contribute to helping issues on local, regional, and even potentially national levels.
Dr. Ben Pauli and Ben Borash ’20, an environmental biology major from Bowlus, Minn., are hoping their contributions can eventually help end a bat epidemic.
“The reason why studying bats is so important is that bats are at this conservation crisis crossroads,” Dr. Pauli said. “They’re suffering from white-nose syndrome, a fungus that infects them during hibernation. It started in New York state 12 years ago and is moving westward. It’s only been in Minnesota a couple of years.”
Dr. Pauli explained that the syndrome causes bats to wake up too much during hibernation, which causes them to burn too much reserve energy for them to be able to survive.
“When a cave gets infected with this disease, 95 percent die. Over the past 12 years, we’re talking 7 million dead bats in U.S. It’s a crisis,” he said. “Because each female typically only has one pup, populations don’t bounce back quickly.”
Their ongoing research goal is to make sure bats have the best circumstances possible when they come out of hibernation, beginning with studying their summer habitats.
As part of his 400-hour internship, Borash recorded bat calls with special equipment he attached to the top of a van. Slowly traveling about 30 miles a night, Borash covered several routes and eight survey sites. “We started our routes a half hour after sunset,” he said. “If it was raining or windy, we couldn’t do it because bats won’t come out in these conditions.
“Studying bats was never something I had thought of doing before, especially echolocation monitoring,” he added. “Now I definitely have a heightened appreciation for them. There are seven species of bats just in this area.”
Bats, Dr. Pauli said, are constantly making noise and sending out signals, but because their calls are so high pitched, humans can’t hear them.
“I had no idea that each species of bat has a very distinct call,” Borash said. “We can identify them solely based on their calls. Also, we can determine where they are living. They like to live in trees, but they also like the open spaces because that’s where the bugs are. That’s where we tended to get more calls.”
At this point Borash said he can only pick out a couple of species’ calls, but he’ll be working more on that in coming weeks as listens to the recorded calls. Then he’ll use Geographic Information System-related software to calculate which environmental factors are important to the bats’ habitat.
“What about the landscape attracts bats to those spots? Is it wooded, near water, near agriculture? He’ll identify the features of the environment,” Dr. Pauli said. “Then we can start answering questions about what bats like. And then we can apply that knowledge to the conservation crisis.”
In addition to his own research, Borash also contributed to a statewide DNR bat monitoring program in Wisconsin.
“It’s almost humbling knowing that this could have an impact, no matter how small,” Borash said. “Especially since it’s not something we know a lot about at this point, we’re on the front line of that research.”
Borash, who hopes one day to get a job as a park ranger, appreciates the opportunity to work outdoors, do cutting edge research on bat habitat selection, and work so closely with one of his professors. “It’s a lot different seeing professors in a classroom, as opposed to out doing research,” he said. “Oftentimes this is why they got into teaching, because they live for this research. It’s great to see how passionate they are about their work.”
Water quality research
Josh Balsiger ’20 and Michele Remer ’20, both environmental biology majors, spent the majority of their summers on boats or in the lab as they studied the health of the watershed around Lake Winona.
The students, led by Dr. Josh Lallaman, went to nine sites around Winona and its watershed to take dissolved oxygen and temperature measurements and to collect water samples, which they analyzed in the lab for nutrients, phosphates and nitrogen levels, conductivity, pH levels and chlorophyll.
“This data is going directly to the county, which is going to use data to make decisions about how to manage and improve water quality in Lake Winona,” Dr. Lallaman said. “So it’s a great opportunity for students to collect real data and a good collaborative building experience between the university and local government.”
At issue, he said, is the fact that Lake Winona is too green, a result of algae that is a direct result of having elevated amounts of nutrients, nitrogen, and phosphorous that are coming in from locations like Gilmore Creek. “From our preliminary results, we’ve confirmed previous studies that say Gilmore Creek contributes some of those nutrients. Some still comes out of Boller Lake and enters Lake Winona. It’s still coming from lots of different places. It’s good preliminary data to address this problem.”
“It’s cool that we are helping inform decisions that need to be made at a policy level and a personal level in order to take the watershed to a new area,” said Balsiger, a Camas, Wash., native.
Balsiger said increased phosphorus allows for more plant growth and this increase comes from both agricultural runoff from pesticides, as well as urban runoff. “Storm sewers don’t have drainage systems, and that leads to an abundance of algae in Lake Winona,” he said.
The students also completed a soil workshop with Dr. Lallaman where area farmers learned about soil health and how to analyze soil samples, and they also assisted Dr. Lallaman with other research by weighing and tagging sturgeon, paddlefish, and carp on the Mississippi.
“This summer internship is a great experience to get to know students better, get to know what their career interests are, get to know them on a personal level, and work on their strengths and weaknesses,” Dr. Lallaman said. “We can make helpful suggestions on further career development while they are here or after they leave Saint Mary’s.”
Both Balsiger and Remer know they’d like to continue working in science research. Remer would like to work outside of the U.S.; Balsiger wants to eventually get his master’s degree.
“We’re getting field experience and that’s something that not a lot of undergraduates get to have,” Remer said. “We’re also working one-on-one with professors. We get to know them pretty well and help build relationships,” the Grand Forks, N.D., native added.
These students know that getting letters of recommendation from professors who know them well and know their capabilities is invaluable. And the time they’ve spent learning proper lab techniques will help them throughout their educational journey and beyond.
“We talk about that we would do this every summer if we could,” Balsiger added. “Next summer, some new lucky person gets to learn all the things we learned. We spend half the time exploring the world and half the time feel like a scientist doing these amazing things.”
Erin Hettinger ’20 and Cole Van Houten ’21, both environmental biology majors, spent the majority of their summer internships at Saint Mary’s Cascade Meadow facility in Rochester, where they learned about plant identification and helped with invasive species management and other prairie restoration efforts.
“We go around cutting and pulling species that shouldn’t be there,” Hettinger said. “I like the idea of conservation in general, so this was a great experience. There is so much work that goes into restoration, the planning, and seeing what techniques work and what doesn’t.”
The Lindenhurst, Ill., native hopes to go to grad school but is not sure what area she wants to pursue. “I love environmental biology, and I love being outside but wasn’t sure about career options,” she said. “I liked the idea of restoration and this was a perfect way to get my foot in the door to see if it’s something I’m interested in.”
Earlier in the year garlic mustard was a primary target; later in summer they focused on eliminating wild parsnip. “If you touch it, it burns your skin,” Hettinger said. “Because it tends to grow right along the trails, it’s not good if visitors get exposed to that.”
The two are collecting data on where parsnip is located and determined there was no correlation between density and the height of the plants. Their goal is to build a model to predict in the future locations that the invasive species will flourish. “So we can predict where to put management efforts in the future,” Hettinger said.
Van Houten of Pine Island, Minn., enjoys being outdoors, so he knew the summer internship would be a great experience, as well as a resume builder. He hopes one day to study wildlife biology, particularly mountain lions.
“Cascade Meadow was formerly farm land so we’re helping bring it back to its native prairie by taking out invasive plants like parsnip, and garlic mustard, and other various invasives,” he said. It’s nice to see how Saint Mary’s is using that property and taking care of it. It felt nice to be part of something, to better the land stewards there and keep it a prairie.”
As part of their summer research, the two also had an opportunity to do water sampling on the lake at Cascade Meadow with Dr. Lallaman.
“There’s nothing quite like being able to experience a whole growth season for a plant community,” said Dr. Moni Berg-Binder. “That’s really key for those students interested in this area, to get them connected to the land in a different way than before.
“With our entire internship program, the idea is that our students are able to gain hands-on, in-the-field experience that supplements what they gain in the classroom,” she added. What they can gain from the internship experience is they are not just learning about management of some of these species, they’re actually out there managing the invasive species and getting the real-world experience.”
In the beginning, she said, students are mentored, but as the summer progresses, they gain more independence. She said she and Kathy Kilkus Allen from GeoSpatial Services are able to back off intentionally so students “gain that ability to problem solve independently and work through different scenarios on their own, knowing that we’re a phone call away if they need us.”
Work at Cascade Meadow integrates research in invasion ecology with restoration management. By focusing on wild parsnip, she said, they can learn about target management and see the value of their research in an applied way.
On a personal level, Dr. Berg-Binder said, summer science internships is in keeping with Saint Mary’s Lasallian mission. “Part of our Lasallian heritage is to be kind of that big brother or big sister role model,” she said. “Students can see how we balance work and life. That’s important for those who are looking at career paths like we’ve chosen.”
All the students had opportunities to crisscross in their research, getting a taste of all three research areas. And, in November, each student will be making poster presentations at conferences.
“With all of our internships, the goal is to produce an outcome that they can share in some way — to take research a little further,” Dr. Berg-Binder said.
Photo caption: Cole Van Houten ’21 and Erin Hettinger ’20 helped with invasive species management and other prairie restoration efforts at Saint Mary’s Cascade Meadow facility in Rochester, Minn.
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Department of Theatre and Dance will present the poignant drama Proof Wednesday through Sunday, Sept. 26-30, in the studio theatre of the university’s Performance Center.
Proof, written by David Auburn and directed by Jimmy Bickerstaff, is the intelligent, witty, and compassionate story of Catherine on the weekend of her 25th birthday, following the death of her famous mathematician father. Set on the back porch of her father’s Hyde Park, Chicago house, the plans of her returning New York sister and a sudden romance with one of her father’s former grad students lead to a mysterious notebook and the most difficult problem of all: Has she inherited her father’s genius — or his madness?
With its remarkable portrayal of the nature of genius, power of love, and value of trust, Proof was awarded the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play.
Watch the simple and elegant story unfold. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 26-29; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the Performance Center box office at 507-457-1715 from noon to 6 p.m. weekdays or online at pagetheatre.org.
Photo caption: Chemistry majors Allison Miller ’19 and David Kemper ’19 use the new Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer.
As senior chemistry majors at Saint Mary’s, David Kemper and Allison Miller spend quite a bit of time working in a lab.
But now, with a new ThermoFischer Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer, they will spend less valuable time waiting to analyze compounds. Answers are literally at their fingertips within a minute or two.
By using this new gas chromatograph (GC), coupled to a mass spectrometer (MS), Saint Mary’s students are now able to separate, identify, and quantify complex mixtures of chemicals at a whole new level.
Kemper will be using the equipment this fall in his quantitative analysis class. “We’ll be using the machine to run multiple samples at the same time to determine what their composition is,” he said. “This is a very important piece of equipment because it’s what students would be out using in the real world. Having a machine that they can practice on and get use to is an invaluable experience.”
Miller said she knows many of her classmates will benefit from the new technology; she may also be able to utilize the equipment to characterize ligands synthesized during her senior research project.
Far more advanced than the university’s previous GC-MS Capability, this new equipment will be highly utilized by students in the teaching labs for organic chemistry, quantitative chemical analysis, environmental toxicology, and instrumental analysis. It is also the main instrument of analysis for senior chemistry and biology research projects.
Dr. Nathan Lien, associate professor of chemistry, said he is overwhelmed with the possibilities that this new instrument — made possible by a generous gift from RTP Company of Winona — offers the university and its students.
“The new instrument has higher sensitivity, meaning that it can detect much smaller amounts of compounds than the older instrument,” he said. “This will greatly assist the students who are analyzing for trace quantities of compounds in water and biological samples.”
Only small amounts of material are required, the analysis is quick, and the wealth of molecular instruction available is astounding.
Kemper is amazed that the instrument can be used remotely. “The ability to collaborate on projects and share information with people over great distances is pretty great,” he said.
Another huge benefit, Dr. Lien added, is the robotic auto-sampler. “It has the ability to perform three types of sampling: liquid, headspace (the air above liquid in a vial), and solid phase microextraction (SPME), which is a method of concentrating small amounts of analyte onto a fiber),” he said.
“In addition to being able to run unassisted, day or night, the auto-sampler is able to seamlessly switch between sampling types,” he added. “For example, our organic chemistry lab students could place their liquid samples in a sampling tray and set the instrument to run. Shortly after, a research student could add their samples to another sampling tray to perform SPME analysis. The system will run unassisted during the evening (or overnight) and switch between liquid and SPME; both the lab and research students will have their data available to them in the morning.”
Additionally, Dr. Lien said, users can set the instrument to analyze a wide variety of samples using one of many published methods or devise a new one if there isn’t one.
“This equipment is way cool,” Miller said. “It has a really neat read-out monitor on the front of the column oven now! The software with it is also really great, it displays both sets of spectra (gas chromatograph and mass spec) in real time. The equipment is very beneficial.”
By using this new equipment, grateful students will have more precise measurements, in less time, leaving them with more time to do research — and less time waiting for results.
“RTP Company is grateful to have such an outstanding university as Saint Mary’s within our community,” said Steve Maki, vice president of technology at RTP. “We hope that the equipment will contribute to the critical research that is being carried out by the university and will enhance the educational experience of the students and professors that use it for years to come.”
WINONA, Minn. — It was a weekend of celebrating athletics at Saint Mary’s University. During Cardinal ‘M’ Club Weekend Sept. 7-9, current and former athletes came together to reminisce about teammates, coaches, and competitions — and to congratulate current Cardinal athletes on their impressive accomplishments.
Attendees were reminded Sept. 7, during the Cardinal ‘M’ Club awards ceremony, that the only place success comes before hard work is in the dictionary.
A highlight of the weekend included honoring two alumni-athletes for their many accomplishments. This year’s Saint Mary’s Sports Hall of Fame inductees were: Roger Pytlewski ’66 and Angie Wright ’00.
ROGER PYTLEWSKI ’66 • MEN’S BASKETBALL
A four-year letterwinner, Pytlewski was a rebounding machine during his time at Saint Mary’s, ranking second all-time with 598 defensive rebounds, while his 825 career boards are No. 3 in program history. Pytlewski, who closed out his collegiate career at Saint Mary’s as a member of the program’s 1,000-point club — finishing with 1,003 career points — averaged 10.0 points-per-game and 8.3 rebounds-per-game in 100 games. Pytlewski put together his best season at Saint Mary’s as a senior, when he averaged a double-double of 12.0 ppg and 13.0 rpg. His 326 total rebounds during that campaign rank No. 2 in single-season program history. The team captain as a senior, Pytlewski also closed out his collegiate career ranking in the top 10 in program history with 100 games played (8th) and 227 offensive rebounds (9th).
ANGIE WRIGHT ’00 • FASTPITCH SOFTBALL
A four-year letterwinner, Wright was a key cog in the Cardinals’ run to the program’s (and the school’s) first-ever national championship in 2000. Wright — who played in a program-record 169 career games, including starts in all 135 contests during her sophomore, junior, and senior seasons — closed out her Cardinal career hitting .392, while ranking in the top five in program history in 13 career offensive categories. An honorable-mention All-MIAC pick in 1997, Wright enjoyed her most productive season as a Cardinal in 1998 — hitting .430, with career-highs in runs (43), hits (52), doubles (15), triples (5), home runs (5), and RBIs (34) — earning the then-sophomore outfielder First-Team All-MIAC and Second-Team NFCA All-Region accolades. Wright, who would go on to earn NFCA Third-Team All-Region honors in 1999, as well as being an honorable-mention All-MIAC pick in 2000 as well as a 2000 CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-American — is making her second appearance as a Saint Mary’s Sports Hall of Famer, having also been recognized when the 2000 national championship team was inducted in 2005.
During the awards ceremony, Saint Mary’s also recognized its 2017-18 postseason award-winners, as well as unveiled the 2017-18 Outstanding Male and Female Athletes, Griffin Rades (Shawano, Wis.) and Becca Dup (Albert Lea, Minn.), and Outstanding Male and Female Scholar Athletes, Jay Heinle (York, Pa.) and Emily Loof (Colorado Springs, Colo.).
Dup, a standout on the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota track and field team, hauled in her first collegiate All-American honor in her final meet of the season — placing ninth at the NCAA Division III Outdoor National Championships.
Rades, meanwhile, made his collegiate debut at the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, breaking six school records and earning a pair of B Final titles.
Loof and Heinle were selected Saint Mary’s Outstanding Female and Male Scholar Athletes for the third year in a row.
SAINT MARY’S OUTSTANDING FEMALE ATHLETE: BECCA DUP
Dup put together one of the greatest track and field seasons in Cardinal program history, culminated by three 2018 NCAA Division III National Championship appearances — including a ninth-place, All-American performance in the triple jump at the outdoor national championships. Dup —the MIAC triple jump champion both indoors and out and the MIAC champion in the indoor long jump — earned the MIAC Outstanding Field Athlete of the MIAC title and Outstanding Performance of the Meet honors at the conference indoor championships. She also added All-Region honors in both jump events to her post-season résumé. On the soccer field, Dup led the team in both assists and points, while finishing second in goals.
SAINT MARY’S OUTSTANDING MALE ATHLETE: GRIFFIN RADES
Rades made the most of his first MIAC Championships as a member of the Cardinal men’s swimming and diving team, breaking six school records —including the 19-year-old 200 freestyle mark. Rades earned a spot in the A Final in the 400 IM, whittling more than 8 seconds off the previous school mark, to place fourth overall. Rades also won the B Final in the 200 breaststroke, while also finishing first in the 200 IM B Final. Leading off the Cardinals’ 800 freestyle relay, Rades posted yet another school record, swimming the first 200 yards in 1:46.96 — besting the 19-year-old record held by Saint Mary’s Hall of Famer Rick Loeffelholz.
SAINT MARY’S OUTSTANDING FEMALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE: EMILY LOOF
A Literature/Public Relations major with a 3.97 grade-point-average, Loof has been a mainstay on the Saint Mary’s women’s soccer team. She appeared in 18 games for the Cardinals in 2017, leading the team lead in goals with seven, while finishing second on the team with 16 points. Loof, a three-time Academic All-MIAC selection, has now been named the Outstanding Female Scholar Athlete each of the past three years.
SAINT MARY’S OUTSTANDING MALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE: JAY HEINLE
A Biology major with a 3.91 GPA, Heinle enjoyed a stellar senior campaign as a member of the Saint Mary’s men’s hockey team in 2017-18, recording five goals and adding nine assists for 14 points. The two-time team captain also earned Academic All-MIAC accolades for the third straight season, while also earning his second AHCA All-American Scholar honor.
Check out the photo gallery from the ‘M’ Club ceremony.
Photo caption: From left, Father James Burns, Saint Mary’s president; Jay Heinle, Outstanding Male Scholar Athlete; Griffin Rades, Outstanding Male Athlete; and Becca Dup, Outstanding Female Athlete. Not pictured: Emily Loof, Outstanding Female Scholar Athlete.
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is once again ranked in the annual U.S. News & World Report ratings of best colleges and universities in the nation.
Saint Mary’s is ranked 50th in the Best Regional Universities of the Midwest category of the U.S. News Best Colleges 2019 guidebook. Saint Mary’s is among a list of 165 schools ranked in this category. The annual rankings were released today, Sept. 10, and are available at usnews.com/best-colleges.
Saint Mary’s is also ranked 49th in the U.S. News category of Best Value Schools Regional Universities of the Midwest. Saint Mary’s is among a list of 75 schools ranked in this category.
“We appreciate these rankings because we know that U.S. News & World Report is a source that many students and families look to when comparing higher education institutions,” said Father James P. Burns, president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. “The report includes such areas as retention and graduation rates, strength of faculty, and employment outcomes, all of which are topics important to students, their families, and all of us at Saint Mary’s. It’s imperative for us to be constantly improving in order to provide the best possible formative and educational experience.”
The Best Regional Universities category includes 644 schools in four regions (Midwest, North, South, and West) that are recognized for offering a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s programs.
U.S. News ranks institutions according to The Carnegie Classification system.
WINONA, Minn. — The Pages Series at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will present Río Mira, an ensemble that specializes in blending contemporary music and traditional sound, on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Page Theatre.
Taking its name from the river that runs from Ecuador into Colombia, Río Mira brings together marimba masters Esteban Copete and Larry Preciado, Ecuadorian singer Karla Kanora, and an all-star ensemble of Afro-Latino folkloric musicians. Bridging borders to reaffirm traditions, the Esmeraldas, an Ecuador-based group, celebrate their shared musical heritage through socially conscious music.
With a cultural identity rooted in the East African diaspora traditions, Río Mira produces both folk sound and electro-cumbia remixes that are founded on the mastery and artistry of great musicians and producers from both countries. Their debut album, released on a ZZK’s sub label AYA Records is produced by Iván Benavides (involved in Latin Grammy-winning groups like Choq Quib Town and Gaiteros de San Jacinto) and Ivis Flies (producer of Latin Grammy-winning social heritage project De Taitas y Mamas).
The story of marimba is closely intertwined with rebel slaves, known as maroons, who made the region their home from the early 16th century onward, and in 2015, UNESCO declared the marimba music of South Pacific Colombia and Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador to be Intangible Cultural Heritage.
To emphasize the history behind this performance, on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 12:05 p.m., Winona State University professor Juandrea Bates will offer a free Page in History talk at the Winona County History Center, located at 160 Johnson Street. The presentation will provide a historical context for the development of Afro-Latino music, including the different experiences of Afro-Latinos in slavery, plantation work, gold mining, and maroon communities. Dr. Bates will also trace how people of African descent used music and musical traditions to resist the dehumanizing experiences of slavery and, in the process, created a number of fascinating musical traditions like those audiences will hear when attending the Río Mira performance.
Tickets to the Río Mira performance are $27 for adults, $24 for senior citizens and students 18 and older, and $18 for youth ages 17 and younger. All Page in History programs are offered free of charge. For more information or to order tickets, visit pagetheatre.org, or call 507-457-1715 (from noon to 6 p.m. on weekdays).
This engagement of Río Mira is made possible through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.
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.
A Page in History programs are made possible, in part, through a grant from the Xcel Energy Foundation and in partnership with the Winona County Historical Society.
About the Page Series
Now in our 32nd annual season, the Page Series connects professional performing artists from around the globe with thousands of Winonans each year. With events at the Joseph Page Theatre on the Winona Campus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, as well as at locations across the Winona community, the Page Series offers dance, music, and theatre performances, workshops, classes, and more that inspire, uplift, educate, and invite community members to discover the relevance of the arts in their daily lives.