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College enrollment update – college admission and institutional research

College enrollment update – college admission and institutional research

The second semester official enrollment numbers for the College includes 996 total students, with 963 attending full time. These numbers represent the lowest enrollment for a spring semester in our recent history. While we all have been made aware of our enrollment challenges at the College, we also know that there are some positive indicators behind these numbers, particularly as we consider that the College started the academic year with 1,044 total students, with 1,023 attending full time.

  1. The retention of the first-year first-time students who started classes in August 2018 and who continued into spring 2019 is 97.1%, which is the highest retention of this group of students in more than a decade. Visit this link for information since 2006.
  2. The attrition rate (the percent of students not returning of those expected to return) from fall semester to spring semester is 4%, the lowest it has been in recent history. The rates for the last five years respectively were 5.4%, 6.5%, 6.2%, and 5.1%; the range in the last decade has been a low of 4% and a high of 7.6%. Another way to look at this is that we retained 96% of the students who we expected to retain.
  3. The retention rate of the first-year first-time students who started classes in August 2017 and who continued to this current academic year is 82.3%, which is the highest retention rate of this group of students in more than a decade.

As we continue to address our enrollment challenges across the university, we want to acknowledge our successes along the way. While these are early indicators and clearly only part of the story at the College, we believe that a number of initiatives over the past two years have contributed to this progress, including new approaches in recruitment/admission, new financial aid approaches to address student need, New Student Orientation efforts, new initiatives in residence life programming and student support areas, implementation of Student Central, new innovations in the classroom, the new Science and Learning Center, among others. Increasing enrollment is not only about increasing new incoming student numbers, but about retaining and completing those students who are already part of our community, which is something that we all can contribute to. Thank you to our faculty and staff for this important work!

If you have questions regarding any of the data provided here, please contact Kara Wener, director of Institutional Research, at or in 123 Saint Mary’s Hall.

Saint Mary’s Missing Voices: Equity in Education Summit advocates for equitable education for all

Saint Mary’s Missing Voices: Equity in Education Summit advocates for equitable education for all

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Youth, educators, administrators, families, and community members will gather together at the Saint Mary’s University Center on Thursday, Feb. 28, for the sixth Missing Voices: Equity in Education Summit — titled Advocate: Access & Act! Attendees will engage in solution-oriented dialogue to discuss how to take action to increase equity in education.

Active community leaders will take the stage to unpack the terms “advocacy” and “civic engagement.” A panel presentation and a keynote address will be complemented by two breakout session presentations. Audience members will come away with a better understanding of advocacy and civic engagement and hear inspiring examples of how individuals have advocated for themselves, their schools, and a more equitable education system for all students.

Breakout sessions by local leaders, although focusing on different areas, will connect their content to the main theme of the summit. Artistic opportunities will be involved with the program. Guests can expect to engage in conversation with one another and explore new perspectives throughout the day.

Leaders from the Youth Equity Solutions (YES!) team will direct the day’s events. These young people help make decisions regarding the summit and facilitate transition activities, ask reflective questions, direct the audience, and participate in breakout session presentations.

Speakers at the 2019 summit will include:

  • Sandra Vargas, senior executive leadership fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She is a well-known community leader in the Twin Cities and has won a number of awards for her work in equity and racial justice.
  • Zuki Ellis, chair of the Saint Paul Board of Education. As a lifelong citizen of Saint Paul, she wants to give back, support, challenge, fight for, and lead the community that has helped to raise and shape her life, as well as the lives of all the students of the district.
  • Mónica Segura-Schwartz, a member of the Board of Education in School District 742. She has been a consistent advocate for disengaged or underrepresented groups and encourages others to participate in public life by getting involved in community making.
  • Rose Chu, senior policy fellow at Minnesota Educational Equity Partnership. Her industrial and systems engineering background, coupled with her experience as a classroom teacher, has continued to ground her life’s work in educational reform and transformation.

Breakout session presentations will be facilitated by a number of equity leaders, including:

  • Kenneth Eban, senior organizing director at Students for Education Reform Minnesota.
  • Eden Bart and Rose McGee from the Minnesota Humanities Center.
  • Syra Yang, equity specialist at Robbinsdale Area Schools.
  • Jim Knutson-Kolodzne, director of the American Indian Center at St. Cloud State University.

The summit will be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Saint Mary’s University Center, located at 2540 Park Ave. in Minneapolis. Check-in and continental breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. Youth, family members, parents, and community organizers are invited to attend at no charge. Tickets for education professionals and general admission tickets are $125. Guests can register online at as well as on the day of the event. Any questions about registration or the event can be directed to

Moore and Arnold interviewed on Cardinals’ Nest

Bill Moore, men’s hockey head coach, and Austin Arnold, men’s hockey senior captain, 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:

Kabara Institute receives award, collaborates with local businesses and universities

The Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Mary’s was awarded the Downtown Activation Award for helping to found the Garage Co-Work Space, 123 Lafayette St. The Winona Area Chamber of Commerce honored the Kabara Institute along with its partners in the Garage Co-Work Space Cohort (Winona Port Authority, Winona State University College of Business, and Winona Area Chamber of Commerce).

The Garage Co-Work works to promote and foster entrepreneurship. The innovative office space, meeting, and event venue offers shared professional workspace for independent workers such as telecommuters, startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and more. Visit for more information.

Collaborating across universities

Students from Saint Mary’s, Winona State University, and Minnesota State College Southeast will come together at the Co-Work Space for a new initiative on Wednesday, Feb. 20, to launch a Winona Area Student Startup. Faculty from all three institutions will facilitate, and the students will create teams that will present to the community at the end of the program.

Jazz at Saint Mary’s to depart on international tour

Jazz at Saint Mary’s to depart on international tour

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University Jazz Combo 1 students will bring the music of pioneering American jazz pianist, composer, and poet Horace Silver to audiences in Germany and Belgium during their spring 2019 tour.

From Silver’s first hit, The Preacher, to his moving ballad, Peace, Jazz Combo 1 will honor the legacy of this legendary American jazz artist through many of his original compositions.

Concerts will take place in Cologne, Germany, and various locations throughout Belgium starting Saturday, Feb. 23. The tour will culminate on Sunday, March 3, with a performance at Brussel’s premier jazz club, The Music Village.

Local audiences can welcome the musicians back at their homecoming performance on Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the Saint Mary’s Performance Center.

Led by Director of Jazz Studies, A. Eric Heukeshoven, Jazz Combo 1 students participating on the tour are Sam French, alto sax; Jacob French, trumpet; Sam Price, guitar; Cray Alvarez and David French, percussion; and Max Heukeshoven, bass. Vocalists Erin McCoy and Liam Hahn will join the combo to bring Silver’s words to life.

For more information, contact Eric Heukeshoven at 507-457-7292 or Ticket information is available at or by calling the Page Theatre box office at 507-457-1715, between noon and 6 p.m.

About Jazz at Saint Mary’s

Jazz has played an integral role at Saint Mary’s University since the mid-1950s when the locally famous big band known as the Marinotes (led by Brother Paul Turner, FSC ’46) was formed. Today, the Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Workshop Combo, and Jazz Combo 1 are staples of the curriculum.

In March 2015, Jazz Combo 1 was featured at numerous venues in Ireland, including the Castle Hotel in Dublin and Galway’s No. 1 jazz club, Busker Brownes. In March 2012, the group toured and performed in Germany. A fundraiser for the Dreifaltigkeits-Krankenhaus (Trinity Hospital) in Köln (Cologne) drew a packed house of more than 450 and raised in excess of $8,000.

Students engage with local business

Students engage with local business

Students in Saint Mary’s Small Business Management class visited the DCM Tech campus in Winona and were given a tour by Dan Arnold, owner of DCM Tech and also a Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies Advisory Board member. Students learned first-hand about the opportunities and challenges of running a local manufacturing company that ships globally.

Art and Design faculty exhibition displays in Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries

“la la” ©2019
painting by Rob McColl

Be sure to check out the 2019 Art and Design faculty exhibition on display now through Saturday, Feb. 23, in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries. The exhibition, titled “Pentimento: The Mark That Remains,” features paintings, photos, ceramics, and sculpture from Saint Mary’s Art and Design faculty: David Herwaldt, Preston Lawing, Rob McColl, Lisa Truax, and Brother Roderick Robertson, FSC.

Communication students attend PR North Conference

Communication students attend PR North Conference

Students in the Public Relations/Business Club attended the 2019 PR North Conference in Minneapolis on Feb. 9, hosted by the Minnesota Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Students met Minnesota Chapter PRSA president and Saint Mary’s alumnus Greg Zimprich, attended sessions on media relations and influencer relations, learned how to negotiate a job offer, and participated in a job fair and mock interviews.

Photo caption: Attending the PR North Conference were, from left: David Gutierrez, Heidi Ledermann, Dean Beckman (faculty adviser), Greg Zimprich (Minnesota PRSA president and Saint Mary’s alumnus), Allie Grengs, Kelly Ferguson, and Morgan Prokosch.

Saint Mary’s Page Series to present ‘Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad’

Saint Mary’s Page Series to present ‘Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad’

WINONA, Minn. — The Page Series at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will present Virginia Repertory Theatre on Tour with a relaxed performance of “Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.” This stirring drama, written by Douglas Jones with music by Ron Barnett, is a classic tribute to the great American who freed herself and hundreds of her people from the bonds of slavery.

The nation’s second largest touring company for young audiences will perform at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in Saint Mary’s Page Theatre.

As Tubman and her friend, Sarah Bradford, narrate her adventurous life, the audience will share in the joys, sorrows, and challenges faced by Tubman, who changed the world through her courage.

This deeply moving musical history lesson is inspiring, heart-warming, and comical while also full of the good humor, determination, and charity of its subject. The audience will find a new appreciation for Tubman and a deeper understanding of her times.

The production is based largely on Bradford’s book, “Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman,” and does contain a scene in which Tubman is the victim of discrimination through use of a racial slur. The company explains, “The playwright made a conscious decision to include this scene because it is historically exact, and it is an illustration of the degradation and humiliation African Americans endured even after emancipation.” Audiences are invited to read more about this scene and use of historically accurate language in the program note, “Why We Say It,” which can be found at A performance guide is also available to help families prepare for the performance and learn more about Tubman.

This will be a relaxed performance with limited sound and lighting effects. There will also be flexible seating options to provide for sensory needs or wiggle room for children. Page Theatre staff are available to assist patrons in setting up their orders and will work to accommodate special requests or considerations. Running time is approximately one hour, and the production is open to the public and recommended for children in grades three and up.

All tickets to this performance are offered on a pay-what-you-can basis, thanks to the support of WNB Financial. For more information or to order tickets, visit or call the Performance Center box office at 507-457-1715 (noon to 6 p.m., weekdays).

The Page Series will also partner with the Winona County Historical Society and the Winona Public Library for a Gathering at the History Center on Saturday, Feb. 16, at noon. The event will feature story time and a lesson on freedom quilts with members of the Winona Area Quilters Guild. Attendees will be invited to create a paper quilt square that can be added to a community-generated “freedom quilt” that will be hung in the Page Theatre’s Ben Miller Lobby during the performance. This event is free and open to participants of all ages.

About Virginia Repertory Theatre on Tour

Virginia Rep on Tour, founded in 1975 as Theatre IV, has been internationally acclaimed for excellence as a theatre for young audiences. On Feb. 1, 2002, Virginia Rep on Tour’s production of “Buffalo Soldier” was performed, by request, at the Pentagon to open their celebration of Black History Month. The company performs live for more than 500,000 students, parents, and teachers each year throughout 33 states and the District of Columbia.

About the Page Series

Now in its 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.

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.

Page Series community programs are made possible, in part, through grants from the Elizabeth Callender King Foundation and the Xcel Energy Foundation.

Internal annual report is now available

The internal annual report for 2017-2018 is now available. Log in to Blackboard at using your university username and password. The report’s link is in the “University Information” tab in the top navigation.

A senior’s reflection on what it means to be Lasallian

Check out this one-page reflection, titled “To be a Lasallian,” written by senior Kevin Gleason.

In my eyes there are a few different characteristics that go into classifying one as Lasallian. These characteristics stem from two of the Lasallian core principles that we have learned about in class, concern for the poor and promoting an inclusive community. I believe that concern for the poor is a critical part of being Lasallian because assisting those with fewer resources to break the cycle of poverty was fundamental in what John Baptist De La Salle hoped to accomplish with his schools. To be a Lasallian is to carry out this mission today by giving time and energy to help those who are less fortunate than us. It is not necessary to devote your life’s work to this mission like De La Salle was called to do but establishing deeper solidarity with the poor is something that all Lasallians’ should strive for.  

Working towards more inclusive communities is another crucial factor in being a Lasallian. De La Salle practiced inclusion by allowing upper-class children to attend the Christian Brothers’ schools and learn along side those whom were destitute. This type of inclusivity has evolved for those who wish to call themselves Lasallian today. Promoting inclusive communities today means celebrating our human differences in terms race, religion, gender, nationality, and sexual orientation. Instead of using these differences to build barriers, Lasallians use them to build bridges of learning and trust between diverse groups of people. Of course, what it means to be a Lasallian can take on many different forms than simply these two characteristics I have identified. This brings me to my last point that there is no definitive answer for what it means to be a Lasallian, interpretations of the term will vary depending on how one perceives De La Salle’s life and story


Faculty/Staff Chili Cookoff results announced

This year’s competition for the Faculty/Staff Chili Cookoff was extra hot! Congratulations to Deb (I swear it wasn’t rigged) Nahrgang in first place; Judd Botcher in second place; and Laurie Haase in third place. A huge thank you to the other worthy competitors: Gary Diomandes, Betty Kube, Terri Lieder, John Schollmeier, Christina Nitti, Ashley Clark, and Larry Price (who graciously made chili but due for unforeseen circumstances wasn’t able to enter). Appreciation also goes to this year’s judges, Adam Potthast, Bianca Dooley, and Brandon Gustafson as well as to Chartwells for providing the water, our Cabinet members for providing toppings and sides; and the Faculty/Staff Spirit Committee for providing desserts.

A total of $200 was raised and will be donated to scholarships. Thanks to everyone who came together to enjoy this event and each other’s company!

Two Cardinals working at the Chicago White Sox

Two Cardinals working at the Chicago White Sox

There are few lifelong Chicago White Sox fans as devoted as Tara Nagy ’18 — except maybe her father, who raised his daughter to root ardently for their home-state team from the time she could first hold a hotdog and do the wave.

So when Nagy was offered a position as a business intelligence analyst with the White Sox this past June, she knew Dad would be proud.

“When he found out about this job, he was over the moon,” she said with a laugh.

Nagy is crunching data to help the organization make wise business decisions in a variety of areas. As a business intelligence and analytics and finance double major, the skills she learned at Saint Mary’s are being put to use on a daily basis.

And, she — and another Saint Mary’s alumnus, Julianne Bartosz ’13, manager of public relations at Chicago White Sox — are always hoping to encourage more women to work on the business side of sports.

Before applying for the White Sox position, Nagy connected with Bartosz — who had previously spoken to her and other Saint Mary’s PR/Business Club members — for advice.

Bartosz, who majored in Spanish and public relations at Saint Mary’s, began working for the White Sox in January 2014. When she was contacted by Nagy, she was excited that a fellow Cardinal student-athlete had reached out to her about applying. While Bartosz played softball and hockey at Saint Mary’s, Nagy played volleyball.

“It was a great opportunity to let Tara know what the culture is like here,” she said. “She was able to get a better sense if she would be interested in the role and then, ultimately, I was able to recommend her for the role. The hiring manager reached out and thanked me for sharing her résumé and then talked to me about her fit for the role — beyond the résumé.

“It’s nice to have another Cardinal in the office.”

Now the two connect within the organization regularly, most recently collaborating at SoxFest, which is one of Bartosz’s biggest projects.

In her public relations role, Bartosz focuses on the team’s off-the-field communications, which involves writing content and press releases and coordinating media for new sponsors, entertainment events, guests at the ballpark, charitable efforts, and community appearances. She also plans various events like the fan convention SoxFest, which recently brought in a sold-out crowd of more than 8,000 fans over a three-day period.

Another new aspect of her job is the White Sox’s inclusion initiative, “BasebALL: One Game for All,” which involves planning various activities and speakers to promote diversity and inclusiveness among fans.

While Bartosz has a leadership role in public relations, Nagy’s work touches many different departments within the organization, including sales, security, advertising, and marketing — the many areas who use data analysis to increase revenue and revamp business or event decisions. One of her biggest projects to date has been analyzing how the number of promotional giveaways could be tied to attendance numbers.

“Data is big in the sports industry,” she said.

Both women love that their jobs are different day-to-day and are constantly challenging them, and both credit Saint Mary’s for preparing them for their careers. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without Saint Mary’s,” Bartosz said.

Nagy agrees. “Dr. Ratajczyk trained me to be an Excel wizard,” she said. “I’m in Excel and Access every day. I use basically all the formulas and techniques he taught us nearly every day at work. I don’t think I would be as successful as I am without him.”

Both alumnae also credit Saint Mary’s for providing them with strong communication skills, which are highly sought after in today’s competitive job market.

Nagy encourages other women who are studying analytics, math, and technology not to be afraid to follow their passions. “If you love it, go for it because it’s so rewarding,” she said. “I’d love to see more women in this field.”

As part of the Game Changers events, Bartosz is hosting events which encourage women to break out of their comfort zones. She said the White Sox are often front-runners for setting trends in the industry, and fittingly they hired one of the first female scouts.

“We have a lot of females in the front office of the White Sox,” she said. “It’s exciting to learn from and work alongside other females in sports. So many people think it’s a male dominated industry, but many females are opening doors for others to follow in their footsteps.”

Nagy has found a great fit with the White Sox. “The culture here is amazing,” she said. “It’s kind of like one big White Sox family.”

Photo credit 2019 Jordan Doyle

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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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