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Winona Campus Newsletter

Speaker presents on living the values of respect, unity, and diversity

Sister Victoria Battell, RSM will present Radical Hospitality: Living the Values of Respect, Unity, and Diversity on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. in SLC 200. All students, faculty, and staff are invited.

Sister Victoria is a Sister of Mercy from the United Kingdom currently ministering in Albany, N.Y., as vice president for Mission at Maria College. She also chairs the Mission Officers Council for the Conference for Mercy Higher Education. An experienced educator, Sister Victoria teaches social justice ethics, cosmology, and spirituality. She is a speaker and published spiritual writer. Sister Victoria has more than 12 years of experience in spiritual formation and working for mission and institutions led by values.

Saint Mary’s University announces new Business Advisory Council

WINONA, Minn. — With the help of skilled regional and alumni businessmen and women, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has formed a Business Advisory Council (BAC), which will support and help the university’s School of Business on its Winona Campus.

The BAC’s goal is to advance the learning experience of Saint Mary’s students and contribute to the quality of teaching and research of its faculty through their support. Innovative programs, recruitment and placement, and the competitive undergraduate business environment are among the topics that the council will provide insight on. The council is further subdivided into three committees with specific goals: Winona Business Community Committee; Internships, Co-ops, and Mentoring Committee, and Development Committee.

Members of the Saint Mary’s BAC, a volunteer group of dedicated professionals, include:

  • Jerome A. Colletti, managing partner, Colletti-Fiss, LLC, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Terri L. Evans, VP/correspondent mortgage account manager, Merchants Bank, Winona
  • Roger Haydock, law professor, William Mitchell College of Law, Spearfish, S.D.
  • Sheryl Lisowski, controller, CAO, and treasurer, Fastenal Company, Winona
  • Todd Paulson, chief financial officer, RTP Company, Winona
  • Dick Pope, chairman, WinCraft, Inc., Winona
  • DJ Prideaux, program manager, Sensata Technologies, Saint Paul, Minn.
  • Randy Skarlupka, vice president of operations, Miller Ingenuity, Winona
  • Maggie Sonnek, marketing professional and business owner, Mill City Creative, Wabasha, Minn.
  • Angela Steger, retired financial representative, Northfield, Ill.
  • Cathy Walsh, broker associate, Jameson Sotheby’s International Real Estate, Hinsdale, Ill.

Foley and Lowe Interviewed on Cardinals’ Nest [videos]

New Saint Mary’s Women’s Basketball Head Coach David Foley and Swimming and Diving Head Coach Amber Lowe were the latest guests on The Cardinals’ Nest, which airs on Winona’s local cable access HBC TV 25.

Watch Foley’s interview:



Watch Lowe’s interview:


GeoSpatial Services kicks off North Dakota project

GeoSpatial Services kicks off North Dakota project

During the week of Nov. 12-15, GeoSpatial Services (GSS) staff members Kevin Stark, Nick Lemcke, and Al Rabine traveled to North Dakota as they conducted fieldwork and met with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials regarding the current National Wetland Inventory (NWI) update. The scoping meeting, held at the USFWS office in Devils Lake, N.D., included discussions of mapping the prairie pothole region, farmed areas that have been heavily ditched/drained, soil conditions including saline and sodic soils, and other unique areas. The first series of NWI updates will include seven counties in northeastern North Dakota. GSS staff members were able to get out in the field to check pre-selected sites and analyze preliminary wetland classifications, identify vegetative species, and examine aerial photo signatures.

Photo caption: GSS staff members Nick Lemcke (left) and Kevin Stark (second from right) met with USFWS staff during a wetland site visit in North Dakota.

Important conversation around inclusivity promotes unity in diversity

Important conversation around inclusivity promotes unity in diversity

Students in the Field Methods course in partnership with Fitzgerald Library staff recently held The Race Card Project to discover more about our campus climate in various dimensions of human diversity. The project invited participants to write their thoughts around important topics such as race, ethnicity, and cultural identity in six words or less. The notes were then displayed on a board in the library Oct. 28-Nov. 7. A candid, follow-up conversation was held on Nov. 9 where a panel discussion was led by students Tyler Aliperto, Logan McCabe, and Stanley Wright, Jr., and moderated by Laura Oanes, Fitzgerald Library director, and Valerie Edwards Robeson, Human Services program coordinator and associate professor of Social Science.

Photo caption: The Race Card Project board that was on display in the library. Photo courtesy of Yohanan Urbina.

Saint Mary’s University faculty member named a Wiley Education Services Fellow

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota faculty member Michael Ratajczyk has been named to the Wiley Education Services Fellows Program and will collaborate on an artificial intelligence (AI) project, which is aimed at enhancing student engagement.

Using artificial intelligence, Ratajczyk — assistant professor of Business at the undergraduate College in Winona and program director for the university’s M.S. in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics program — plans to create a type of online chat box, where a student can ask questions 24 hours a day. The AI will be programmed to ask appropriate follow-up questions and then provide resources to best address the question.

“With our online M.S. in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics courses, it’s an eight-week environment where we don’t work with students face to face, and the content is very hands on, which can be challenging,” Ratajczyk said. “Additionally, because many of our adult students have day jobs, they may be completing assignments outside of regular office hours. The AI will be a resource to address that. Our goal is to get students the information they need without having to wait until their teacher logs in. It’s about getting them the information they need, when it is needed, instead of delaying their progress. Ultimately, it’s all about student-centered learning.”

Wiley Education Services Fellows are a small, select group of distinguished faculty, program directors, or administrators from the network of Wiley partner schools. The program aims to honor educators and advance their innovative work via collaboration with one another and Wiley.

The program officially began on Nov. 14, and the project’s duration is expected to last about a year.

Saint Mary’s Page Theatre invites children to audition for ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’

Saint Mary’s Page Theatre invites children to audition for ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’

WINONA, Minn. — Children ages 7-12 who are under five feet tall are invited to audition for the upcoming Page Series production of ODC/Dance’s “The Velveteen Rabbit.” Auditions will be held Saturday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Valéncia Arts Center at 1164 W. Howard St.

ODC/Dance brings to life Margery Williams’ classic tale of a well-worn nursery rabbit that becomes real. Told through music, dance, and a powerful narrative, “The Velveteen Rabbit” celebrates the unique relationship between a little boy and his stuffed rabbit and the enduring power of love. “The Velveteen Rabbit,” a narrated production set to selections by Benjamin Britten, is brimming with wit, festive costumes, and madcap characters.

Dancers wishing to audition should be capable of remembering choreography and dancing in unison. Rehearsals for this 70-minute professional production will take place throughout January; selected dancers will be expected to attend all rehearsals. Performances will be Sunday, Jan. 27, at 3 p.m. and Monday, Jan. 28, at 10 a.m. (school matinee).

Visit for more information about the production or to preregister your child. Watch this video to get a sneak peek of “The Velveteen Rabbit.”

Presentation of “The Velveteen Rabbit” is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Crane Group.

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.

2nd annual Cardinal Fest is Saturday, Nov. 17

2nd annual Cardinal Fest is Saturday, Nov. 17

All Saint Mary’s University students, faculty and staff, alumni, and their families are invited to take part in the 2nd annual Cardinal Fest celebration on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Gostomski Fieldhouse. Join in on the fun, food, games, and giveaways.

Cardinal Fest is a collaborative effort between the Office of Student Activities, Alumni Relations, Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Student Activities Committee, Future Alumni Committee, Chartwells, Maintenance Department, WinCraft, and HBC created to bring the entire campus community together to celebrate the upcoming end to the fall semester. Last year more than 500 members of the Saint Mary’s community came out and enjoyed the event!

You can expect:

  • ENTERTAINMENT — A variety of inflatables (Dodgeball Defender, a Bootcamp Challenge obstacle course, the Titanic Slide, and Boulder Dash) will be available. Challenge yourself or your friends! A dunk tank will give you a chance to drop some of your favorite faculty and staff members.
  • A CARNIVAL AND RAFFLE — Teams, clubs, departments, and offices on campus will host Minute-to-Win-It-style carnival games. Winners of these games will be entered into a raffle for prizes (including one grand prize to be given at the event). Don’t worry if you don’t win right away, you’ll still get candy just for playing!
  • GIVEAWAYS — 500 custom Saint Mary’s scarves will be given away throughout Cardinal Fest.
  • FOOD — A carnival-themed lunch will be offered. This will be the only spot on campus food will be served at this time.
You’re invited to Island City and H3O November Jazz Jam

You’re invited to Island City and H3O November Jazz Jam

A record number of folks made October’s Jazz Jam at Island City Brewing Company the place to be. Isn’t it time for you to join the H3O Jazz Trio on Sunday, Nov. 18, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Island City Brewing Company’s for this month’s Jazz Jam!?

Think of the Jazz Jam as open mic night … for jazz! Whether you play an instrument or sing, the Jazz Jam is your chance to sit in with a professional rhythm section. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to perform some of their favorite jazz standards.

Interested jammers can choose from a wide selection of jazz tunes, bring their own, or ask the trio if they can play your favorite. Simply sign up on the clipboard and get ready to jam.

Island City Jazz Jams happen on the third Sunday of each month from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the tap room.

At the final Jazz Jam of 2018 on Sunday, Dec. 16, three groups from Jazz at Saint Mary’s will join the jam as they celebrate the end of a great semester with their Jazz Final.

Island City Jazz Jam is free and open to everyone — young and not so young. And if you’re not quite ready to sit in, come and enjoy a great evening of jazz.

For more information, please contact Ashley Haig, Island City Events Coordinator at 507-961-9743 or

About the H3O Jazz Trio

The father and son trio H3O began performing great jazz tunes together when bassist Max Heukeshoven was only 14 years old. Along with older brother Hans on drums and vibes and dad Eric on the piano, the group was asked to play for a private pool party and haven’t stopped since!

A. Eric Heukeshoven is an assistant professor of Music and thirddirector of Jazz Studies at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Hans Heukeshoven is a 2015 graduate of Saint Mary’s with degrees in music performance and computer science and works as a software engineer. Max Heukeshoven is completing a degree in music industry at Saint Mary’s and plans to attend law school in 2019.

H3O performs a wide variety of jazz styles including original music. They have worked as the rhythm section for numerous area professionals including Minnesota Music Hall of Fame’s Les Fields and Dr. John Paulson. Recent appearances include Midwest Music Fest, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Free Family Concert Series, and more. The trio hosts a monthly Jazz Jam at Island City Brewing Company in Winona on the third Sunday of every month from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

More information about the H3O Jazz trio can be found at

Photo caption: Debbie Blissenbach and Julia Kirk sing about their “Favorite Things” at the October Jazz Jam.

Join the Entrepreneurial Student Showcase event

Join the Kabara Institute and the Walleye Tank for the second annual Entrepreneurial Student Showcase happening Thursday, Nov. 29, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Saint Mary’s Cascade Meadow facility in Rochester.

This event is designed to allow students to share their ideas with the public and refine their presentations. It is the perfect follow up for teams who participated in the elevator pitch competition or for science students who might want to engage with the Mayo Clinic and get their name out there.

All teams at the showcase will participate in an educational “science fair like” event to demo their product or service to the gathered community of entrepreneurs, community members, and educators, with the chance to win prizes. This is a great way to get feedback on your idea and to refine your value proposition.

To register, contact Dr. Christine Beech at

Learn more about the Entrepreneurial Student Showcase.

Additions to Saint Thomas More Chapel

In the coming days, visitors to Saint Thomas More Chapel will begin to notice some changes in artwork placement.

There are two pictures, one of the Holy Family and one of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which will be moved to more visible spaces on the walls.

In addition, statues of Mary and Joseph, the Infant of Prague, Our Lady of Fatima, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, will be placed in locations accessible to people for prayer and reflection. In the Catholic faith, statues are reminders of the work of God in the History of Salvation through Mary and Jesus and the great commitment and perseverance of the Community of Saints.

We hope these places of prayer will be appealing to members of the Saint Mary’s University community as spaces to contemplate the great traditions of our faith and as a means of encounter through prayer as we face the daily challenges and joys.

Fastenal hosts Public Relations/Business Club

Fastenal hosts Public Relations/Business Club

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Public Relations/Business Club students enjoyed a tour and “meet the managers” session at Fastenal headquarters in Winona on Nov. 7. Students met with eight senior and middle managers to learn more about the Fastenal business operations and to explore internship and co-op education opportunities. Students engaged in networking with the Fastenal professionals and took a tour of the distribution hub.

Students included Courtney Moser, Mary Loy, Isabella (Bella) Nuck, Lyanna Novak, Carolyn (Carol) Chrastka, Hannah Crowe, Jerry Goodwin, Casey Hanson, Morgan Prokosch, and Jack Knoblauch. Business faculty coordinators were Professors Matthew Klosky and Shelly McCallum-Ferguson. The event was part of the PR/Business Club activities.

Photo caption: From left, Jerry Goodwin, Lyanna Novak, Matthew Klosky (faculty), Bella Nuck, Morgan Prokosch, Carol Chrastka, Hannah Crowe, Courtney Moser, Craig Davis (Fastenal), Mary Loy, Jack Knoblauch, and Casey Hanson.

Students present research at Seven Rivers Undergraduate Research Symposium

Students present research at Seven Rivers Undergraduate Research Symposium

Students majoring in biology, environmental biology, and psychology presented their undergraduate research at the Seven Rivers Undergraduate Research Symposium sponsored by Viterbo University on Nov. 9.

Ben Borash, Cole Van Houten, Erin Hettinger, Abbigail Propsom, and Austin Kleman gave oral presentations on the results of their summer internship experiences or their senior research projects. Joshua Balsiger, Michele Remer, and Mark Leonard presented posters of their work resulting from summer internships and an independent study. Kleman won an award for best oral presentation in the social sciences. Balsiger and Remer won a “People’s Choice” best poster award.

Photo caption: Environmental biology majors Cole Van Houten and Erin Hettinger present their summer research on invasive wild parsnip at Saint Mary’s Cascade Meadow facility in Rochester.

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