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X Games student program proves extremely beneficial

X Games student program proves extremely beneficial

After working on national social media platforms, Saint Mary’s sophomore Alec Rudh knows to keep his statements short and to-the-point.

So, in describing what it was like working at the 2019 Winter X Games in Aspen Jan. 22-28, he is concise: “best experience of my life, hands down.”

The sport management and business analytics double major from Hastings, Minn., may not have been at the scene of every jaw-dropping extreme jump or trick, he saw them all from the back end, as he was editing posts for four social media platforms, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Rudh was one of 17 Saint Mary’s business students who had the unique opportunity to be part of the 2019 Winter X Games Student Work Program — led by Saint Mary’s faculty member Zakary Mayo. Based on skills and personal strengths, students were placed into different departments throughout the event and received a variety of valuable skills that will transfer to future careers — and had access to the fast-paced action. The annual action sports event features snowbiking, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and skiing events, as well as live concerts with big-name musicians.

“I was a part of the games so much more than I thought I would be,” Rudh said. “My job was to edit the content, every video for every sport and every athlete, including jumps and slow motion videos, roll outs, and medals.”

As part of an eight-person team dedicated to social media, Rudh helped with up to two or three times for each event, and as many as 10-15 posts per day. “I learned how focused you have to be,” he said. “During live events, my mind was focused. You can’t misspell a word.”

Although Rudh didn’t know much about the X Games going into the event, he now has a tremendous respect for the athletes. “My dream job would be working for ESPN,” he said. “I never thought X Games would be an option until now.”

Although he hopes one day to work in the front office for a professional hockey team, Rudh is looking for any position through which he can use his data analytics skills to assess statistics for hockey, tennis, football, or basketball. A Cardinal tennis athlete, and broadcaster for Cardinal athletics, he also enjoys the communications aspects of sports and is interested in being a high school coach and an athletic director. After his experience with the X Games, Rudh now realizes that social media is another avenue worth pursuing.

“It’s not something I originally considered,” he said. “But now I’m looking at internships where social media work is a component because I’ve had this experience. Anything that gets your foot in the door is valuable.”

Saint Mary’s students make an impact

Two other Saint Mary’s students, Heidi Ledermann ’19 and Blair Sanders ’20 received #IMPACT awards for their work at X Fest, the main festival surrounding the X Games.

X Games Event Development #IMPACT Awards are overall awards based upon the workers’ performance levels throughout the week. Winners of the Event Development #IMPACT Awards are typically nominated by the winners’ supervisors and managers. An Overall #IMPACT Award, as well as Daily #IMPACT Awards, are conferred.

Ledermann cycled between the Snowskate Park, Studio X, and the SoFi X Trials and received Event Development’s prestigious Overall #IMPACT Award.

“I spent most of my time at Studio X, assisting the X Fest emcees known as The Flavor Savers, and helping with the various informative TED-style talks that were put on each day,” she said. “My job was often to entice people to come to Studio X and then interact with them in a positive way throughout the day by scanning their X Games App, giving out free swag, or just asking how their X Games experience was going.” Ledermann received the prestigious Overall #IMPACT Award.

During the summer and winter X Games, and across all participating universities, only one student participant is awarded the Overall #IMPACT Award. Ledermann was chosen for displaying consistent dedication to and commitment to impact the X Games guests in a positive manner.

Sanders received a Daily #IMPACT Award for his work on Jan. 25 of “setting the example of courtesy” while working with the children at the SoFi X Trails within X Fest.

MCA hosts local student art exhibit throughout February

MCA hosts local student art exhibit throughout February

WINONA, Minn. — Artwork created by local students is now on display in Galleria Valéncia at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA), 1164 W. Howard St. The artwork was created by students of Brianna Haupt, who teaches K-12 at Riverway Learning Community.

Throughout February, visitors can view artwork that was created using a variety of mediums, subject matter, and artistic techniques. Monochromatic paintings (paintings consisting of different shades of all one color), Fauvist-inspired self portraits, an Australian mask, and creative color wheel designs make this exhibit unique and fun for all ages.

The public is invited to visit Galleria Valéncia at no cost during regular business hours: Monday and Tuesday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon.

About Riverway Learning Community

Riverway Learning Community is a tuition-free, Minnesota public charter school that was established in 2000. With the intention of remaining a small school that effectively creates a family atmosphere and provides a more individualized education, Riverway serves students in pre-primary through grade 12. For more information, visit

Dancers invited to audition for MCA summer camp

Dancers invited to audition for MCA summer camp

WINONA, Minn.— Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA), an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, invites intermediate and advanced dancers ages 11-22 to audition for the 17th annual Summer Dance Intensive camp to be held July 7-27 in Winona.

MCA will hold four open auditions in Wisconsin and Minnesota for this three-week boarding camp, one of the only camps of its kind in Minnesota:

  • Mankato, Minn., Saturday, Feb. 23, noon to 2 p.m. at Mankato Ballet Company, 731 South Front St.
  • La Crosse, Wis., Saturday, March 9, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at La Crosse Dance Centre, 2716 Commerce St.
  • Winona, Minn., Saturday, March 30, 10 a.m. to noon at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, 1164 W. 10th St.
  • Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, April 7, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Green Bay School of Dance, 129 South Washington St.

There is no pre-registration or fee to audition. Dancers should plan to arrive around 30 minutes prior to auditions to get signed in, get their number, and get warmed up and focused. The audition will be led by MCA’s Director of Dance, Tammy Schmidt, and be run like a full ballet class. Students with pointe experience should bring pointe shoes to the audition class. Following the ballet class, students have the option to show a prepared jazz, tap, modern, tap, or musical theatre dance center combination of at least 64 counts or 16 bars.

For the second year, students entering Saint Mary’s University in fall 2019 will be able to simultaneously or solely audition for MCA’s Summer Dance Intensive and the Saint Mary’s Theatre and Dance Department Dance Scholarship. The dance scholarships are renewable scholarships that range from $1,000 to $2,000 a year. Dancers wishing to apply for this scholarship should also provide a dance résumé with their application. There is no fee to be considered, and video auditions are accepted. For more information about the Saint Mary’s Theatre and Dance Department, visit

Any student who has previously participated in MCA’s Summer Dance Intensive is invited back at a 25 percent discounted rate and is not required to attend auditions unless they want to be considered for a talent-based scholarship. Those who are unable to attend a live audition are welcome to submit videos auditions. Visit the Summer Dance Intensive Audition Q & A for details.

Contact MCA at 507-453-5500 or for more information.

Students to attend Day at the Capitol

Each year, current students from the 17 Minnesota private colleges and universities attend Day at the Capitol, where they meet with legislators and speak about the importance of need-based financial aid through the Minnesota State Grant program. Hundreds of students come over five days during February and March. This year, Saint Mary’s students have been scheduled for their Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 13, which will include a networking event with Saint Mary’s alumni.

Last year, 25 students from Saint Mary’s participated in Day at the Capitol, where they advocated for the Minnesota State Grant program with legislators. Access to higher education is one of the university’s top priorities. The Minnesota State Grant is a significant part of financial-aid packages for our students. More than $2 million in state grant awards were made to nearly 660 of our university students last year.

Day at the Capitol provides opportunity for students to discuss ethics, service, and leadership. Learn more about Day at the Capitol or the Minnesota State Grant.

February Jazz Jam to support Misato ambassadors

February Jazz Jam to support Misato ambassadors

WINONA, Minn. — The monthly Jazz Jam will take place Sunday, Feb. 17, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Island City Brewing Company, 65 E. Front St. in Winona. This month, the H30 Jazz Trio is proud to sponsor a freewill donation to support Winona students traveling to Misato, Japan, later this spring as part of Winona’s Sister City program.

H30 began hosting an annual fundraiser for Masato students in 2013 when Saint Mary’s alumnus Max Heukeshoven, H30 bassist, traveled to Misato as a student. In 2016, A. Eric Heukeshoven, assistant professor of music and director of Jazz Studies at Saint Mary’s, and saxophone great Dr. John Paulson led a group of student jazz musicians on a special visit to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Winona and Misato’s connection.

Now in its second year, the Island City Jazz Jam is an 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. Players can choose music from Hal Leonard Real Books, bring their own, or ask the trio if they can play their 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 taproom. The event is free and open to all ages. If you’re not quite ready to sit in, come and enjoy a great evening of jazz.

For more information, contact Ashley Haig, Island City events coordinator, at 507-961-9743 or

About the H3O Jazz Trio

The father and son jazz trio H3O began performing 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 hasn’t stopped since!

A. Eric Heukeshoven is an assistant professor of music and director 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.

H3O Jazz Trio 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 HBC25’s Artwork Winona, Midwest Music Fest, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Free Family Concert Series, and many other venues. 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: Sisters Evie and Vera O’Shea (10 and 8 years old) — daughters of Dr. Patrick and Lindsy O’Shea of the Music Department — high five each other after singing “On the Sunny Side of the Street.”

Mayo and Rudh interviewed on Cardinals’ Nest

Zakary Mayo, of the Business Department, and Alec Rudh, a sophomore business major, were recently featured in an episode of Cardinals’ Nest, a TV program that airs on Winona cable access HBC TV-25. Cardinals’ Nest is cohosted by Donny Nadeau, sports information director, and Dean Beckman, Communication Department chair and faculty athletic representative.

Watch the interviews where Mayo and Rudh talk about their recent ESPN Winter X Games experiences:

Fireside musical variety show happens this weekend

This weekend, the sisters of Sigma Alpha Iota Kappa Sigma will present Fireside 2019. The annual musical variety show will take place Friday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7 and 10 p.m. in the Common Room on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall. Join the events for incredible music and yummy cupcakes. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time online for $7 or at the door for $8.

Frozen River Film Festival feature showing on campus

Don’t miss the showing of Hesburgh tonight on campus as part of the Frozen River Film Festival.

Date: Friday, Feb. 8
Time: 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Toner Student Center Cafeteria
Director: Patrick Creadon
Runtime: 104 minutes

Hesburgh offers a unique glimpse at more than 50 years of American history as seen through the eyes of the long-time president of the University of Notre Dame and America’s most well-known Catholic priest. Educator, civil rights champion, advisor to presidents, envoy to popes, theologian and activist, Hesburgh was called on by countless world leaders to tackle the most challenging issues of the day. He built a reputation as a savvy political operator with a penchant for bridging the divide between bitter enemies.

Saint Mary’s hosts poetry reading by Steven Schild

WINONA, Minn. — The public is invited to Pastries and Poetry: An evening with Steven Schild on Thursday, Feb. 14, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the President’s Room, located in Saint Mary’s University’s Toner Student Center. Dr. Steven Schild of the Saint Mary’s Communication Department will read from his new poetry collection titled These Humans, which has been nominated for a Minnesota Book Award.

Dr. Schild lives in Winona with his wife Margaret. They have two grown sons, Jake and Sam. A faculty member at Saint Mary’s since 1992, Dr. Schild has worked in farming, construction, factories, journalism, and public relations. His writing has appeared in USA Today, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and other newspapers. He has written three poetry collections (These Humans, Eros in Autumn, and Gone Away from Crystal Valley), and his poetry has also appeared in four anthologies and a number of literary magazines.

This event is part of the Composers on the Edge series and is sponsored by the Office of Writing at the College and the Business and Communications Department.

Baseball team takes time for retreat

Baseball team takes time for retreat

Dating back to the early ’90s, coaches and student athletes have participated in retreats, and some teams do so on an annual basis. Nick Winecke, Saint Mary’s baseball coach and associate athletic director, recalls his time as a student-athlete and the importance of setting time aside to contemplate and reflect on his spiritual life. He therefore makes it a priority each year for his team and fellow coaches to make the retreat part of the baseball program.

This year, the baseball team and coaches met at Alverna Center Jan. 18-19. The theme of this year’s retreat was Integrity – based on 2 Corinthians 8: 21 “We are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord, but also in the eyes of others.” The two-day retreat included four sessions of prayer and reflection centered on the notion of integrity. In addition, the young men met in small and large groups where they spoke about their relationships with their families, teammates, and God.

The seniors, who have been making the annual baseball retreat since they were first-year students, play a critical role in helping create an environment early in the retreat — where sharing from the heart is commonplace. Senior Dixon Irwin said, “Leading a small group, I was able to set the tone and be an example to the underclassman and show them that it’s okay to open up.”

First-year student, Luke Gilbertson said, “Before the retreat, I thought it was simply going to be time of being together as a team, but it was so much more. We learned so much about care and empathy, particularly in light of the fact that everyone is going through something which causes us to treat everyone with respect.”

When asked why he makes the retreat a priority, Coach Winecke stated, “One of our goals each year is to learn one another’s story. We all have a story and to be able to share it with your teammates, I think is a powerful thing. These two days are about growth, not only as an individual, but also as a group of men looking to create life-long bonds. Working with Brother Pat Conway and Brother Frank Carr is special; I have always believed that the Christian Brothers mission is to help create strong individuals with a moral compass.”

Winecke interviewed on Cardinals’ Nest

Nick Winecke, Saint Mary’s baseball coach and associate athletic director, was recently featured in an episode of Cardinals’ Nest, a TV program that airs on Winona cable access HBC TV-25. Cardinals’ Nest is co-hosted by Donny Nadeau, sports information director, and Dean Beckman, Communication Department chair and faculty athletic representative.

Watch Winecke’s interview, which also features footage of the baseball clubhouse being unveiled to Cardinal baseball players:

2017-18 Fact Book now available online

The Office of Institutional Research is pleased to announce that the 2017-18 Fact Book is now available. The Fact Book provides a wealth of historical and current university data. It serves as a useful resource for facilitating internal communication, providing data to use in decision-making, planning and improvement efforts, and providing answers to common questions about various facets of the university. It may be found on the Office of Institutional Research webpage or can be found here.

Retired Saint Mary’s professor stays active

Dr. Richard Kowles, after 40 years at Saint Mary’s University, retired from teaching in the Saint Mary’s Biology Department in 2008 and from additional part-time teaching in 2012. Since then, he has given numerous presentations on genetic subjects to various organizations in Winona and Rochester, all of which have received publicity in both cities. Most recently, two genetic presentations were given in Rochester as a featured part of a Mayo Clinic Education Program for adult audiences. In Winona, he has been engaged in an entire series discussing genetic subjects of interest to the Winona Learning Club. Thus far, he has given 11 such presentations to the organization with more scheduled. Dr. Kowles has also presented 34 slide shows over the past two years to residents of Winona’s Adith Miller Care Facility. This series has also received recent publicity in the Winona Daily News. Dr. Kowles never passes up an opportunity to discuss genetics, his favorite subject. He thinks that retirement would otherwise be boring.

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Campus Notes is published for the Saint Mary’s Winona Campus faculty, staff, and students during the academic year.

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