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Winona Campus Newsletter
Prestigious internship benefits future pediatric psychologist

Prestigious internship benefits future pediatric psychologist

For a psychology student, having the opportunity to put Mayo Clinic as an internship site on your résumé is a real attention-getter. Saint Mary’s senior Nick Sawchuk is hoping his experiences at the renowned Rochester medical facility will help him stand out in pursuing his dream to become a pediatric psychologist.

Sawchuk has interned in the Department of Psychology and Psychiatry at Mayo Clinic for the past year and a half during which he has worked both summer months and school breaks. His role involves research, data entry, chart extraction, and analysis on a variety of clinical studies. Working closely with fellows, physicians, and statisticians, he’s also been collaborating on publishing manuscripts.

“Everything here is a team effort, which is how I work best,” said Sawchuk who also serves as captain of the Saint Mary’s swim team, dive team, and water polo team. “It’s great having the support of world-renowned physicians and fellows. The community here is super positive.”

The Rochester native said he was originally a biology major with a psychology minor, but after reexamining which classes he enjoyed (and excelled in) most and after seeing the type of career opportunities at Mayo Clinic, he switched to a psychology major and a biology minor.

“There’s a battle between psych and bio on which discipline is the true science, so to speak,” explained Sawchuk with a laugh. “Originally I wanted to be a pediatric psychiatrist, where I would be focusing on medication management and course of treatment, but I decided I wanted to be more hands-on and work in the area of cognitive behavioral therapy and become a pediatric clinical psychologist instead.”

He would especially like to focus on the connection between eating disorders and chronic pain, a path which he says was inspired by the research he’s doing at Mayo Clinic.

“There’s not a lot of research around eating disorders and chronic pain in conjunction with each other. It’s a very important field because a child’s pain often affects their eating,” Sawchuk explained.

In fact, he decided to do his senior thesis on the relationship between eating and body image and a person’s overall functioning, carrying this same topic a bit further. “As a student athlete, I constantly watch what I eat and make sure I’m getting the calories I need to perform well,” Sawchuk said. “The same sort of thing goes with these eating disorders. Sometimes the reason why these kids aren’t functioning properly is because they don’t have enough food in their system.”

Sawchuk is being exposed to many different types of studies at Mayo Clinic, which is helping him develop a more diverse background in the field.

For example, he’s recently been working on a neurocognitive study about children with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a psychosomatic disorder where patients experience intense autonomic symptoms. Among these symptoms, difficulty concentrating is prominent. After these children take different performance tests, the data is analyzed to see if they have any cognitive deficits.

“Compiling data can be messy sometimes. It’s such a rewarding feeling when you finish a data set, everything is clean, and everything works,” explained Sawchuk, who is working under the supervision of Michelle Skime M’15, a Saint Mary’s alumna. “The research I’m involved with is primarily about finding validation for specific studies, instead of exploration.”

The student athlete is preparing to go to graduate school after he finishes his undergraduate degree. He’s hopeful the experience he’s gaining in this internship will help him get his foot in the door.

“It’s important to have a diverse clinical and research background. They want to see research experience and experience relevant to what you’re specializing in,” explained Sawchuk.

Through his internship, he’s also gained a base knowledge of data entry and analysis using important statistical data software like SPSS, JMP, and R, some of which he was first introduced to in courses at Saint Mary’s.

Sawchuk is grateful for the opportunities he’s had at Mayo Clinic and is looking forward to his final year at Saint Mary’s.

“Saint Mary’s has helped me grow as a person and as a leader. It’s taught me to be confident, to ask questions, and to take initiative,” said Sawchuk. “Being involved in sports and groups like Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) has helped bring my faith and sports together, and it’s also helped me bring other people together and excel.”

Inauguration activities and events for Saturday, Oct. 6

Inauguration activities and events for Saturday, Oct. 6

You are invited to participate in activities being held Saturday, Oct. 6, as part of the celebration surrounding the inauguration of our president, Father James P. Burns.

VOLUNTEER SERVICE — 10 a.m. to noon

  • Take part in a service project to clean up Saint Mary’s portion of Highway 14 near campus.
  • Volunteers will meet outside of the art gallery in the Toner Student Center at 9:30 a.m.
  • Free coffee, juice, fruit, and Bloedow’s donuts will be available during check-in. Sign up here.

SOCCER TAILGATER — Noon to 5:30 p.m.

  • Join in the fun of gameday near the soccer field.
  • Watch a double-header as women’s soccer takes on the College of Saint Benedict at 1 p.m. and men’s soccer takes on Saint John’s University at 3:30 p.m.
  • Enjoy food from noon to 3 p.m. at the soccer field. (Lunch will only be served in this location.)
  • The event also includes lawn games, as well as a giant soccer dartboard and bungee run inflatables. A tug-of-war will be held during the halftime of the women’s game; a bubble soccer game will run during the halftime of the men’s game; and a giant hamster ball 100-yard-dash will be offered between games. Check out the giveaways for students while supplies last.


  • Regional artisans, musicians, and nonprofit organizations will fill the plaza with the aim of bringing together the local artisan entrepreneurial community.
  • Approximately 20 artisans will showcase and sell a large variety of their work that ranges from artisanal soaps to jewelry to wood carving.
  • Longboards created by Saint Mary’s students under the guidance of Dr. Joe Tadie and art by Monta May of the Marketing and Communication Office will also be available for purchase.
  • Entrepreneurship students will sell refreshments, and music will run throughout the event with Amanda Grace performing at 1 p.m., Dust Settlers at 2 p.m. and a Saint Mary’s student-led band at 3 p.m.
  • This event is sponsored by the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.
2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year visits Saint Mary’s

2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year visits Saint Mary’s

Ms. Kelly Holstine, an English teacher at Tokata Learning Center in Shakopee, Minn., and the 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, visited Saint Mary’s University on Sept. 20. She spoke to an audience of 80 students in the Science and Learning Center Auditorium about the importance of acknowledging every person you encounter as someone with a heart and a unique story. Ms. Holstine shared her personal story of struggle and growth and noted the importance of personal well-being in meeting learner needs and professional obligations in teaching. She is the 13th Teacher of the Year to speak at Saint Mary’s since the Saint Mary’s Student Chapter of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) was founded in 2004.

Photo caption: Ms. Kelly Holstine (center), the 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, poses with Dr. Scott Sorvaag, Education professor, and ASCD officers Emily Strezishar, Jacob Kramer, Erin Budin, and Spencer Johnston.

GeoSpatial Services visits New Mexico for wetland mapping fieldwork

GeoSpatial Services visits New Mexico for wetland mapping fieldwork

GSS staff Andy Robertson, John Anderson, and Eric Lindquist recently returned from fieldwork in southwestern New Mexico. The three were accompanied by staff members of the New Mexico Environmental Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wetlands Inventory program. The group was gathering insight on wetlands in the study area for an upcoming wetland mapping project. Area hydrology, vegetation, local knowledge, and other characteristics were gathered and compared for the landscape-level mapping. The knowledge and data gathered will be used to create a ‘wetland key’ for photo interpreters to guide them in creating modern digital wetland and riparian area data. When completed, this two-year project will result in the first-ever comprehensive wetland inventory for this region of the state. For more details and photos, visit

Saint Mary’s celebrates Food Week

Saint Mary’s celebrates Food Week

Join in on upcoming Food Week events happening Oct. 6-12. Events include trips, on-campus events, a film screening, Food Journal Challenge, Eat and Learn sessions every weekday, and so much more! Registration for off-campus trips and more information can be found at Students, faculty, and staff are all invited to attend events and engage in this multidisciplinary look at food.

Many activities planned for Family Weekend

Many activities planned for Family Weekend

Invite your family to visit Winona during Family Weekend, Sept. 28-30. Family Weekend includes a full slate of activities for families of students and the Saint Mary’s community. In previous years, as many as 1,000 visitors have come onto campus for music events, sporting events, the Fall Frolic, and other games and activities. Find a full schedule of events at

Celebrate peace with events on campus

Celebrate peace with events on campus

You’re invited to join these upcoming events in celebration of International Lasallian Days for Peace.


10:30 a.m. — Mass
Saint Thomas More Chapel


8:15 to 10:15 a.m. — Coffee and Donuts
Come talk with Kathleen Swain, director of Lasallian Volunteers
Vlazny Lounge

12:10 p.m. — Mass
Saint Thomas More Chapel

7 p.m. — Sanctuary Church: “Creating Peace in our Community”
Presentation by Fr. Jim Callahan, pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church (in collaboration with the English Department, Lasallian Honors, and Winona Interfaith Council)
SLC 200

Originally from Boston, Mass., Fr. Jim has been a pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Worthington, Minn., since 2010, but has been in ministry for 35 years. Fr. Jim spent 17 years in Africa, Haiti, El Salvador, and in south central Los Angeles, working on refugee resettlement with Doctors without Borders and the United Nations. He has master’s degrees in theology and African/black studies, works with alcoholics and addicts, and also teaches spirituality at a treatment center for priests.


8:15 a.m. – Pancakes and Morning Prayer for Peace
Vlazny Lounge

12:10 p.m. — Mass
Saint Thomas More Chapel

12:40 p.m. — Prayer
Peace Pole


Noon — “Work for Justice”
Presentation by Justin Van Dalen, attorney at Van Dalen Law Firm (in collaboration with the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies)
Figliulo Recital Hall, Performance Center

Justin is a solo-practitioner attorney from Rochester, Minn. Before graduating magna cum laude from Mitchell Hamline School of Law, he spent 10 years as a supply chain analyst and sourcing executive in the electronics manufacturing and health care industries. Justin spent 16 months in Gulu, Uganda, serving as a Legal Fellow with International Justice Mission (IJM) where he defended widows and orphans who were victims of violent land theft. His experience with IJM brought into focus what it means to pursue peace by working for justice. Justin and his wife, Rebekah, live in Rochester with their three young children. 


12:10 p.m. — Mass
Saint Thomas More Chapel

7:30 p.m. — “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word”
Documentary and Discussion
Salvi Lecture Hall

A rare co-production with the Vatican, the pope’s ideas and his message are central to this documentary, which sets out to present his work of reform and his answers to today’s global questions of death, social justice, immigration, ecology, wealth inequality, materialism, and the role of the family. “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word” documents a personal journey with Pope Francis and was written and directed by Oscar-nominated German filmmaker Wim Wenders.


7:45 to 10 a.m. — Coffee and Donuts
Vlazny Lounge

Beyond the Classroom Walls: Podcasting, Public History, and Pop Culture

Beyond the Classroom Walls: Podcasting, Public History, and Pop Culture

You’re invited to “Beyond the Classroom Walls: Podcasting, Public History, and Pop Culture” on Wednesday, Oct. 3, in Room 200 of the Science and Learning Center from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

East Asia for All is a podcast about East Asian popular culture and media. Co-hosts Melissa Brzycki and Stephanie Montgomery each have a Ph.D. in East Asian history. Brzycki is currently a member of Saint Mary’s History Department, and Montgomery is an assistant professor in History and Asian Studies at St. Olaf College. They created the podcast to develop an easily accessible platform that makes historical research and knowledge interesting and available to students, scholars and the public. Their talk will focus on how they began the project and how it figures in their work as academics.

This event is sponsored by the Saint Mary’s University Department of History and Social Sciences. For more information, contact Dr. Erich Lippman at 507-457-6944 or

Public Relations/Business Club visits WinCraft

Public Relations/Business Club visits WinCraft

About 20 members of the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Public Relations/Business Club recently visited WinCraft, a Winona company that is a nationwide leader in the manufacturing of licensed and promotional products that specializes in sports-related merchandise. The students learned about WinCraft’s communication, marketing, and sales strategies, and then toured WinCraft’s state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution facilities. The club’s visit was made possible in part by Robert Gas ’12, a Saint Mary’s Business and Public Relations alumnus who is now a national account manager at WinCraft. Saint Mary’s Public Relations/Business Club faculty advisers Dean Beckman and Dr. Shelly McCallum-Ferguson accompanied the students on the visit.

Photo caption: From left, Amber Collins, team sales manger at WinCraft, Liz Sagar, inside sales/collegiate sales at WinCraft, and Robert Gas ’12, Saint Mary’s alumnus and national account manager at WinCraft, address the Saint Mary’s Public Relations/Business Club during its visit to WinCraft.

RSVP for presidential inauguration

RSVP for presidential inauguration

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
Gostomski Fieldhouse
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
Gostomski Fieldhouse

For more information, go to


Students RSVP here:

Faculty RSVP here:

Staff RSVP here:

Alumna returns to give presentation on career in public health

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.

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