Saint Mary's University Campus News
ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is expanding its Bachelor of Science in Healthcare and Human Services Management program to St. Cloud. The university recognizes that healthcare is the fastest-growing U.S. employment sector and demand is at an all-time high for qualified health services managers. Classes will be held at St. Cloud Technical and Community College starting in the fall, and applications are currently being accepted.
The Healthcare and Human Services Management program is designed for employees from hospitals, clinics, and social service agencies who have completed some college or a two-year degree credential who want to advance in the field or continue on to graduate studies.
Professionals who have completed programs like biomedical equipment technician, surgery technician, health data specialist, or health information management would be good candidates for this program.
Students choose between two specializations:
Healthcare Management: This specialization provides an academic and career pathway for those working in the healthcare industry. The specialization enhances students’ understanding of management and supervision, healthcare delivery systems, information management, and workplace training strategies.
Human Services: The specialization is designed for individuals who want to gain skills in case management and an understanding of how social service networks respond to the needs of underserved populations.
The series of eight-week courses are designed for working adults who need flexible options in order to complete a bachelor’s degree. Students can take advantage of our evening classes; additionally 1/4 of class sessions are offered in a convenient online format.
Applications for admission for the new Bachelor of Science in Healthcare and Human Services Management program are being accepted now. For more information or to find out when information sessions are scheduled, contact Laurie Roy at 866-437-2788. Visit the program website at smumn.edu/hhsm for more information.
WINONA, Minn. — On Saturday, May 13, the Winona Campus of Saint Mary’s University will host a joint commencement ceremony for both Winona undergraduate and graduate students, beginning at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium.
Undergraduate student reflections will be offered by this year’s Outstanding Male and Female Seniors Peter Hegland, son of Jim and Tanja Hegland of Saint Charles, Minn., and Ena Moets, daughter of Steven and Julie Moets of Roland, Iowa.
Representing Saint Mary’s Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, Heather Jill Mahady Eld, a Master of Education in Teaching and Learning graduate, will also give a reflection. Rachel Busch and Dawnett Hall-Beharie, both Master of Education in Teaching and Learning graduates, will be presented with Outstanding Graduate Final Paper Awards.
A reception on the plaza will follow the ceremony. In case of inclement weather, the reception will be held in Gostomski Fieldhouse.
Prior to the ceremony, a Baccalaureate Mass will take place in Saint Thomas More Chapel at 8:30 a.m.
Limited parking will be available. More information is posted at smumn.edu/commencement.
MINNEAPOLIS – Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (www.smumn.edu) will host its 10th annual Hendrickson Forum in Minneapolis on Tuesday, April 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. The event will feature a keynote address from Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of The Economist.
“Over the past 10 years the Hendrickson Forum has become a venue for thought-provoking discussion on ethical leadership,” said Audrey Kintzi, Saint Mary’s vice president for development and alumni relations who leads the Hendrickson Forum. “We are grateful to be part of a business community that is home to some of the world’s most influential and ethical leaders.”
The 2017 Hendrickson Forum, “What’s Next? Making Sense of a Global Economy,” will feature a keynote address and Q&A session with Minton Beddoes. In her address, she will shed light on President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office and discuss the interplay of democracy, demography, technology, energy, and government policies as the ultimate drivers of economic change. The event is open to the public and general admission tickets are $50 per person, which includes lunch. Advance registration is required. More information and online registration is available at: www.smumn.edu/HendricksonForum.
Minton Beddoes will join a distinguished roster of former speakers: Jon Huntsman, Jr., James Stavridis, Sheila Bair, Ian Bremmer, Sue Gardner, Jacqueline Novogratz, Dr. Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, John Howard, and John Micklethwait. While the topics have varied by year, themes have centered on ethical business leadership in our increasingly global economy.
Julie Hendrickson, daughter of the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership’s founder, says, “This event is a wonderful way to carry out my father’s legacy of ethical leadership. Learning is a lifelong process, and the conversations that take place at the Forum have a global impact. We’re pleased to mark this 10-year milestone and look forward to many more successful events in the years to come.”
WINONA, Minn. — The public is invited to the ribbon cutting and dedication of Saint Mary’s University’s new Science and Learning Center on Friday, May 12.
The ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m., and tours and refreshments will follow.
Everyone is invited to join the university as it ushers in a new vision for science education excellence. The cost of the project—Saint Mary’s most ambitious building project to date— is $19.7 million. Through the generosity of benefactors, Saint Mary’s has already raised more than $17 million for this state-of-the-art facility.
Highlights of the 50,000-square-foot building include:
- State-of-the-art classrooms and labs that will serve as optimal learning environments and provide a platform for increased research opportunities.
- A layout specially designed to promote hands-on learning opportunities.
- An interior atrium that will visually connect all three floors and welcome sunlight from the building’s skylights, creating ideal spaces for study and student interactions outside of the classroom.
- A 120-seat tiered lecture hall that will accommodate multi-purpose events for the campus and community.
Wight & Company of Chicago is serving as the architect and general contractor. RSVP online at smumn.edu/slcdedication.
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University’s Performance Center and Office of Outdoor Leadership will present two films, John Latsch: The Man and His River and This is America, 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, at the Page Theatre. The films celebrate outdoor recreation and our country’s natural resources. A question-and-answer session will follow the films.
John Latsch: The Man and His River
John Latsch (1860-1934), a humble and hard-working man, gifted Winona with a lasting legacy. He and his father ran a successful wholesale grocery business in Winona called Latsch and Son. He said he “made his money in Winona and was going to leave it here.” His solo canoe trips on the Mississippi River and his love of the outdoors resulted in the purchase of over 18,000 acres of river bottoms and high land. He donated the acreage to the City of Winona and the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin so the public could enjoy the pleasures of outdoor recreation. John Latsch: The Man and His River, by local filmmaker and Saint Mary’s Performance Center volunteer Mary Farrell, won the People’s Choice award at the 2017 Frozen River Film Festival.
This is America
From Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea
The story of our national parks is a long and complicated one, full of competing demands between utterly American impulses—between preservation and exploitation, the sacred and the profitable; between the immediate desires of one generation and its obligation and promise to the next. This is America is a complete 45-minute film that tells the story of the national park idea through the prism of our nation’s diverse population, weaving together stories of extraordinary people from a wide variety of backgrounds who devoted their lives to the national park ideal—to preserve and protect these special places for everyone, for all time— and helped it broaden and evolve over the course of 150 years.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit pagetheatre.org or call the Saint Mary’s Performance Center Box Office at 507-457-1715.
About Saint Mary’s Outdoor Leadership
Saint Mary’s Outdoor Leadership program engages students in camping, backpacking, kayaking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and much more. These types of activities expose students to more opportunities involving environmental stewardship and sustainability on campus. Saint Mary’s Outdoor Leadership will provide service opportunities that challenge students mentally, physically, and spiritually. Saint Mary’s location on the Mississippi River, immersed in the bluffs, surrounded by streams and trails, make it the perfect place to get involved in outdoor recreation.
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University will host a public prescreening of a new, acclaimed documentary by Grassroots Films, Outcasts, 7 p.m. Monday, April 24, in Page Theatre. The viewing will be followed by a question-and-answer period with Clifford Azize, the director and editor. The documentary travels around the world, asking, “Who do we deem as outcasts?” View what happens when a group of religious men (the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal) decide they will join them. Admission is free.
Follow the cameras of Grassroots Films, the award-winning producers of The Human Experience and Child 31, on an unexpected journey across the globe. Travel to the prisons of Central America, walk the dark city streets of London, New York, and Ireland’s most treacherous neighborhoods. Step beyond your comfort zone and into the lives of our modern-day outcasts. This documentary is unrated, but deemed for mature audiences.
The trailer may be seen at www.outcaststhemovie.com. The prescreening is co-sponsored by the Saint Mary’s Office of the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs; the dean of Arts and Humanities; the Departments of Theology, Philosophy, and Theatre; the General Education Program; the Office of Campus Ministry; and Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary.
Students in Michael Ratajczyk’s data analysis and business modeling course reviewed notes and discussed tactics as they waited for their turn in front of the judges.
The students, primarily sophomores and juniors, had been given the task of analyzing data from a fictional business, Cardinal Hardware, which utilizes multiple suppliers and uses their own fleet of trucks to save on shipping costs. In return for saving on shipping and overhead, the suppliers give Cardinal Hardware a rebate on their orders. Based on analysis of 10 years of data, teams were asked to forecast whether it would be more profitable for the business to continue to use a fixed rate rebate program or switch to a variable rate rebate program.
Regardless of their findings, students were judged on their ability to present their results in a clear, professional—and understandable—way.
Just to add to their anxiety a bit, their judges included former business alumni professionals, as well as area business professionals (including judges from 3M, Fastenal, Chrysler Winona, and Winona Radio).
“The data analytics course is one of four required in the business intelligence and analytics major,” Ratajczyk said. “While mathematics and business acumen are key ingredients in a successful graduate, it is of greater importance that graduates can communicate well with a variety of audiences. In the field, they will work with people who have a varying degree of data literacy.”
His students, he said, were given a limited set of instructions, a couple of data sets, and a deadline. The students needed to find additional data sets from the government and economic agencies and condense more than two weeks of data science modeling into a 15-minute presentation. Based on techniques used in class, they could utilize decision trees, logarithmic, or linear regression.
Dixon Irwin, a sophomore Business Intelligence and Analytics major, and his group ultimately decided that Cardinal Hardware should continue with a fixed rebate program in 2017.
“First were created a price model that would help us forecast for 2017,” Irwin said. “We considered Gross Domestic Product, CPI Consumer Price Index, and inflation in our forecasting method. Our next task was to use a percent change qualifier to determine how low our percent could drop before the company would have to revise their contracts. My group and I found that, with our model, sticking with the company’s original fixed rebate program would be more profitable for 2017. Along with that, we also found that if the company were to use our variable rebate program from the start they would have seen more profits.”
Junior Tara Nagy, a junior Business Intelligence and Analytics and Finance double major, said her team also ultimately recommended using a fixed variable rate in 2017.
“We audited the financial quarterly reports of Cardinal Hardware and their shipping orders. Along with this, we calculated the fixed rebate amount based off a fixed cost for all suppliers for the years 2007-2016. Following this, we had to calculate the variable rebate cost of the suppliers based off a percent change qualifier per quarter from 2007-2016. After calculating the rebates for fixed and variable, we had to forecast what the rebates will be in 2017. What my group found was that the variable rebate was better over the time span of 2007-2016 compared to the fixed rebate, but the fixed rebate was better when forecasting 2017 compared to the variable rebate. To find this, we used a weighted average over the last three months to forecast the diesel fuel prices and used a percent change qualifier to determine if it was sensible to change the rebate percent per quarter or if having the fixed would be better. Overall we found that a fixed rebate percent gave the company more profit.”
Both students hope one day to get a job in business in the business intelligence and analytics field. For Irwin, this exercise helped solidify that he had chosen the correct career path. “This experience was a great confidence booster for me,” he said. “I always knew I like doing this kind of work, but the communication part of the job was the big question mark for me. If you ask my group members, before the presentation I was extremely nervous, but once it came my turn to present, I effectively communicated our data to our audience. Knowing that I can do this and do a respectable job was the confidence I needed.”
Nagy knows she’s headed into a field that has a shortage of job candidates with the necessary skills in data science and analytics.
“There is such a high demand everywhere for someone who knows how to look at data, manipulate it, visualize it, and ultimately present it in a way that allows people to make decisions based on these findings,” she said. “These classes will make me more valuable as a job candidate because the projects that we do are from the real world.”
Irwin agrees that he’s learning skills that are applicable in any career path he chooses. “I’m not only learning valuable skills that can help a company make better decisions, but I am also learning skills that can help me communicate better. The projects we work on are very similar to possible situations we could see on the job, so it’s beneficial to get this ‘real world’ experience.”
Photo caption: Michael Amelio ’17 presents his findings to the judges.
The City of Winona, home to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and its Winona Campus, again received accolades as a top place to live.
Expedia was on a mission to uncover “the most beautiful places to travel in every state that may not be on your radar,” taking into account “all kinds of aesthetically pleasing characteristics, from historical attractions to natural landscapes.” Expedia called out Winona’s scenic natural setting in the bluffs along the Mississippi River, easy ways to enjoy the great outdoors, arts and culture, and historic downtown architecture.
Students coming to Saint Mary’s in Winona find plenty to see and do.
Echoing those comments was Amanda Baker, a Saint Mary’s senior from Western Minnesota. Baker loves to walk the paths and admire the reflection of the bluffs in Lake Winona. “Coming to school in Winona—even though it’s not large and urban—there are lots of things to do because of the beauty and natural setting.”
The city is a year-round travel destination, and as the Visit Winona website points out, “There is a lot to love about Winona. From its sculpted bluffs to its mighty river and all the places in between, Winona has unparalleled beauty mixed with a cool urbanity and (historic) old-world charm that proves that yes, you really can have it all in one enchanting place.”
Visit Winona also says Winona is a paradise suited for “outdoor lovers, whatever your version of relaxing is—whether it’s swinging on a bench by the lake or tackling a wicked mountain bike trail; whether it’s a tranquil hike in the woods or doing whirlybirds on a wakeboard.
But Winona offers much indoor recreation too. According to Visit Winona, “the arts scene here is as cosmopolitan as you’ll find anywhere. Together with music and film festivals, art shows, and museums for every interest, this extraordinary array of arts and culture leaves no doubt that Winona is not just another pretty face.”
View photos and video of why students, full-time residents, and visitors love Winona.
Visit the Saint Mary’s University Winona Campus—home to undergraduate, residential college students and graduate students as well—and see Winona for yourself. Find more information about campus visits and the state’s most beautiful town.
Photo captions: Winona’s scenic natural setting, arts and culture, and outstanding recreational resources combine to make it Minnesota’s most beautiful town.
Adventure in the great outdoors is easy to find right in the Winona city limits. Saint Mary’s students enjoy the challenge of climbing the Sugarloaf landmark.
WINONA, Minn. — Galleria Valéncia at Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) is filled with unique pieces of artwork created by Jeffery Morgan’s art students at Winona Area Public Schools. The selected pieces are from kindergarten through fourth-grade art classrooms at Washington-Kosciusko Elementary, Goodview Elementary, and Rollingstone Community schools. Galleria Valéncia is located at 1164 W. Howard St.
During the month of April, visitors to the gallery will enjoy colorful artwork that was created using a variety of mediums and elements of design. Morgan has been teaching elementary art for over 10 years, and he enjoys seeing the great perceptual and developmental growth in his students. “Along with the Minnesota standards in visual arts, art classrooms teach problem solving, divergent thinking, responsibility and appreciation for the creative expression of others different from ourselves,” Morgan said.
Visitors are encouraged to sign the guestbook, so that the young artists know who attended the show. MCA is in the process of setting up art shows for the upcoming school year. If schools or artists are interested in displaying their work in Galleria Valéncia, contact Jamie at email@example.com.
The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University, is a nonprofit organization offering programming in dance, music, visual art, and theatre. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for youth ages 18 months and older through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center. For more information, go to smumn.edu/mca, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 507-453-5500.
Quirky and funny, with a penchant for the dark side, Jack Walterman ’17 dreams of being the next Tim Burton.
After graduating from Saint Mary’s this spring with a theatre degree, Walterman is ready for his academic sequel at one of the top film schools in the nation, the University of Southern California’s Division of Film and Television Production MFA program.
Burton once said, “Anybody with artistic ambitions is always trying to reconnect with the way they saw things as a child.”
Looking back at his life, Walterman may have always been pre-destined for a career in the film industry because his love for video production started as a kid.
“My parents had a camcorder with those little compact tapes,” he said. “My friends and I would write scripts and make videos.”
By high school, Walterman took classes that taught him some videography basics and by his senior year of high school, his parents bought him a camera of his own.
Self-defined as “quirky and funny,” Walterman likes to combine his humor with the horror genre. His first true stint behind the camera was when he convinced his friends back home to star in a two-part horror comedy called Jitters.
Then Walterman tucked his camera away for a bit, focusing on his college career, acting and directing in several theatre productions, performing in the Oldie Moldie All-Stars through Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, serving as president of Alpha Psi Omega, and coordinating the 50th anniversary of the Blue Angel musical variety show on campus.
Walterman again got the film production bug, after connecting with fellow student musician Darvell Jones ’17 (who uses the stage name Sain Levrad). The two combined talents to complete several YouTube music videos, with Walterman behind the scenes (sometimes playing backup on piano), and Jones as the star. “Over senior week, we filmed 13 music videos in four days. We’d be up until 3 a.m., take a nap, and then go again,” Walterman said. “We had a $200 camera and no budget.”
What they lacked in budget, they made up for in creativity. Each video is unique. The two lit a fire atop a piano, set a piano on a flatbed trailer and performed while moving, and filmed in the Mississippi River, in the bluffs, and even in a building under construction. Sometimes they filmed in the dark.
With the success of these videos, the two again collaborated on a Thriller video this past fall, starring Saint Mary’s students as Jones’ zombie backup dancers.
Not surprisingly, Walterman’s adviser Judy Myers encouraged him to consider pursuing film school.
Walterman already thought his career path was in the can. He had directed St. Charles High School students in one-act competition, coached Cotter High School speech students, and taught at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
But the possibility intrigued him enough to apply to the top film schools in America, including the University of Southern California’s Division of Film and Television Production MFA program. Knowing he was competing against students from across the nation and beyond, he sent in a personal statement and résumé, a graduation film project proposal (Jitters), and Thriller.
In January, he received a phone interview with a film-editing professor who asked him why he wanted to attend USC. “I conquered Guthrie as a sophomore undergrad,” Walterman said. “I told him, ‘What can I do if I take a chance and face a fear and chase a dream?’ ”
In his subsequent admittance letter, Walterman was told, “The Cinematic Arts faculty identified you as one of the more talented applicants in this year’s applicant pool.” He will begin in spring of 2018, potentially earlier.
Designing his own happy ending, Walterman would love one day to direct in the comedy/horror genre. He specifies that when Jones becomes famous, Walterman will film his music documentary.
“Saint Mary’s helped me find my artistic voice, be a leader on campus, and provide me the space to make these videos,” Walterman said. “And I formed close relationships with faculty who helped me get internships and jobs. I’ve grown so much. I wanted to be an individual, not a number. I wanted to be known. It definitely happened here.”
WINONA, Minn. — The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts Dance Repertory Company (DRC) will present the 43rd annual spring dance concert, Deeply Rooted Dance: Celebrating our Connections Friday and Saturday, April 21-22, at the Page Theatre at Saint Mary’s University. This year’s concert will explore connections to family, to environment, to community, and to our world.
Suitable and engaging for all ages, works range from classical to contemporary, ballet and modern to hip hop and jazz, encompassing re-staged works, as well as new choreography created by MCA faculty and regional guest artists.
Re-staged repertory pieces from DRC’s past include Gwen Hendee’s Persephone’s Lantern (2001), Dustyn Marincich’s It’s About Choices (2009), Genevieve Draskoci-Johnson’s Mueve Por Aqui, Mueve Por Alla (2005) and Ti-Pin-Ti (2010), and Tammy Schmidt’s The Southern Ties that Bind. The concert will also premiere a new dance piece by choreographer Jessica Dienger that will feature traditional African and contemporary hip hop fusion music.
Dance Repertory Company (DRC) is the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts pre-professional dance company featuring dancers ages 13 and older with a few featured roles for younger dancers.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and are available at www.pagetheatre.org or by calling the box office, 507-457-1715, between noon and 6 p.m.
WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University choirs will perform a spring concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at the Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels, located at Wabasha and Vila streets.
Under the direction of Dr. Patrick O’Shea, Saint Mary’s choirs offer a variety of choral music at their annual spring performance. Both accompanied and a cappella works will be presented, spanning 500 years of musical history. The concert will feature works by G.B. Martini, Orlando Gibbons, Russell Woollen, and spirituals.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the Saint Mary’s box office, 507-457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.pagetheatre.org. Tickets at the door are available by cash or check only.
About Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota awakens, nurtures, and empowers learners to ethical lives of leadership and service. At Saint Mary’s, students find in every classroom—whether in person or online—a relationship-driven, person-centered education. Through intense inquiry, students discover the truths in the world and the character within. Founded in 1912 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota enrolls 5,800 students at its residential undergraduate college in Winona and its Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, based in Minneapolis but extending worldwide. Saint Mary’s offers respected and affordable programs in a variety of areas leading to bachelor’s, bachelor’s completion, master’s, certificate, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Learn more at smumn.edu.
WINONA, Minn. — Blow, Gabriel, blow! The Saint Mary’s jazz ensembles will perform their spring concert alongside trumpeter Adam Meckler at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, at the Page Theatre.
Minneapolis jazz trumpeter Adam Meckler, who leads his own big band, will bring his dynamic sound to the Page Theatre. The performance will highlight works played and written by jazz trumpet greats from Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis to Meckler’s own contemporary compositions.
For more information, contact director of jazz studies A. Eric Heukeshoven at 507-457-7292 or email@example.com.
Tickets to the April 30 performance are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the Saint Mary’s box office, 507-457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.pagetheatre.org. Tickets at the door are available by cash or check only.
WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University chamber music ensembles will present a free family concert Thursday, April 20, at the Winona Family Community Center (1756 Kraemer Dr.).
The event—which begins at 6 p.m.—will include performances by the NextGenMusic ensemble, the flute choir, the women’s choir, and other small ensembles. Additionally, children from the audience will be invited to play Orff instruments during the concert. Children and adults of all ages are welcome to attend this family-friendly performance.
By Chloe Morrison ’17
At Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, “it’s who knows you” is more than just a slogan. The personable and approachable faculty and staff, along with the tight-knit campus, bring the words to life every day.
At first glance, Agnieska “Aga” Kadej ’10, M’12 and Dr. Matt Nowakowski, D’10, don’t have much in common.
Kadej is originally from Poland. The young blond woman, petite in stature, came to Saint Mary’s in Winona in 2006 to study sociology and marketing on a joint scholarship from the Wasie Foundation and the Gostomski Family Foundation.
Dr. Nowakowski, who was serving as the director of M.B.A. programs at the time, remembers interviewing Kadej after she applied for the program, furthered by scholarship support.
We hit it off immediately, and it was clear we had much in common,” he said. “As her adviser, I followed her progress through the program. It was clear Aga was an exceptional student and person, so I introduced her to a group of Polish/Polish Americans in the Twin Cities to help her network. Our families are from the same area of Poland.”
After finishing the graduate program in 2012, Kadej decided to stay and work in the United States with her husband, Radoslaw “Radek” Tomczak ’09, who came to Saint Mary’s on the same scholarship. Their daughter was born in 2016. Kadej is currently a senior business analysis with Apogee Enterprises, Inc., where she specializes in business analysis and configuration of SAP ERP (Systems Applications and Products, Enterprise Resource Planning) software.
She and Nowakowski live fairly close and have stayed in touch through the years.
“We have an annual tradition of celebrating Polish Christmas Eve, Wigilia, by having dinner together, and we get together for other occasions too,” Kadej said. “Dr. Nowakowski and his family even met my parents during their recent visit to the United States.”
Recently, Kadej gave Dr. Nowakowski a crucifix from Poland that holds particular meaning to her and her family. Her father had climbed a ladder to retrieve it from the walls of a textile factory in the mid-1990s.
“Back in the day, when Poland was forced into communism after World War II, crucifixes were not allowed to be displayed in public places, but Polish people didn’t become any less religious,” Kadej explains. “Once the Solidarity movement started, they fought and won the right to hang crosses in state-owned manufacturing plants.”
Once communism ended, many of the manufacturing plants were shut down. Aga’s father was in charge of decommissioning a textile plant in Lodz, Poland, where he found the crucifix.
“The crucifix is a historically and spiritually significant icon to me, from the aspect of where it is from and the time in which it was made,” Dr. Nowakowski said. “It is a symbol of faith that withstood a difficult period of time in Polish history, and I think it represents the hope of a group of people who have gone through so much.”
Kadej continues to appreciate the advice and guidance Dr. Nowakowski has given her during her time at Saint Mary’s and beyond.
“Dr. Nowakowski is one of my many teachers who showed a lot of care and concern for me as an individual during my time at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “It meant a lot to know that he actually cared.”
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University is providing a platform for Twin Cities youth to make their voices heard—and to play a positive role in educational equity.
The Saint Mary’s Graduate School of Education is hosting a Youth Action Retreat for youth in grades nine through 12, and college-age students Wednesday, April 26. This workshop is designed by and for youth to take action in influencing equity in education. Specifically, the workshop is an opportunity for youth to share their voices and ideas and to gain new knowledge and skills to advocate for youth-centered and culturally responsive educational environments.
The theme, “Break it Down, Build it Up” focuses on arts, movement, and mindfulness activities designed to explore, affirm, and promote healthy and equitable classroom spaces. Breakout sessions will include de-escalation techniques, giving constructive feedback to educators, and building bridges.
The event, which will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., is free and will be held at the Saint Mary’s University Center on the Twin Cities Campus. Any interested schools are invited to contact Sarah Wanger at 612-238-4559 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Groups are capped at 10 youth per school and must be accompanied by an adult ally who will also participate in the activities. Continental breakfast and lunch will be served.
By Emily Loof ‘18
The student-athletes of Saint Mary’s recently got a taste of what it is like to be a professional athlete—specifically, what it is like to be a Minnesota Viking.
On April 3, performance coach Dr. Cindra Kamphoff, Ph.D., visited Saint Mary’s to address a crowd of student-athletes, coaches, athletic staff, and other members of the community. Kamphoff, who currently works with the Minnesota Vikings, as well as with other athletes and business leaders, and founded the High Performance Mindset podcast, which was recently named to Yahoo’s “Top Ten Podcasts to Listen to in the Gym.” Kamphoff’s work has been featured in The New York Times, ESPN the Magazine, The Huffington Post, USA Today, and Runner’s World Magazine.
Kamphoff led a high-energy, interactive presentation, guided by her signature “Top 10 Traits of High Performers,” based on her work with elite athletes and research in performance psychology. A frequent marathon runner, Kamphoff was just two blocks away from the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. The terror of the experience convinced Kamphoff that she wanted to do more with her life and prompted her to become a speaker.
Using anecdotes of professional athletes such as Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, and Lebron James, Kamphoff focused on five of her 10 traits, emphasizing the importance of grit, controlling only what you can control, mastering one’s thinking, being present in the moment, and, poignantly, forgiving one’s own mistakes.
“The most successful people fail the most often,” Kamphoff assured her audience. “Failure is an event, not a person, and you can learn from it.”
The highlight of the performance was a rock-paper-scissors showdown in which athletes competed against teammates and members of other teams. When a player lost, he or she was instructed to cheer for the person who delivered the defeat in his or her next match. The response was electric; student-athletes celebrated raucously as their teammates advanced to their next opponents.
Attendees could not help but be motivated by Kamphoff’s advice and consider ways they could integrate it into their own lives.
“I was inspired by what Dr. Kamphoff had to say,” said freshman women’s soccer player Gabby Pederson. “I think if we implement what she spoke about into each of our sports, it will be really beneficial to our teams.”
The event was hosted by the Saint Mary’s Leadership Program and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, in conjunction with the university’s Division III Week celebration.