June 2017 newsletter
Delve into sleep research at the University of St. Thomas to learn how it impacts student learning and find out how three colleges — Augsburg College, Bethel University and Concordia College — connect with the community by offering summer learning to middle and high school students. Then relax with stories of how our alumni are leaving their mark on the food and craft-brewing industries before reading about this year’s legislative successes.
It’s not news that college students aren’t always getting good sleep, but the Center for College Sleep at the University of St. Thomas is discovering that this lack of good sleep has real impacts on student success.
College students are uniquely vulnerable to bad sleep habits. Dr. Roxanne Prichard, scientific director at the Center for College Sleep and associate professor of neuroscience and psychology, describes what students are facing as a “perfect storm.” “Students have a biological delay in their circadian rhythm — so they want to sleep in and stay up late; they are on their own for first time and often there is a campus climate that is actually promoting bad sleep,” Prichard said. “These all contribute to students not getting good sleep.”
This lack of sleep is not just a harmless rite of passage for college students — it affects how they fare in their daily lives. “Inadequate sleep has a negative impact on GPA and course withdrawals on par with marijuana use and high-risk drinking,” Prichard said of her research with Dr. Monica Hartmann. “On average, each additional day per week a student experiences sleep problems raises the probability of dropping a course by 10 percent and lowering their cumulative GPA by 0.02. Also, students with poor sleep report more anxiety and depression symptoms than their well-rested peers.”
The good news is that there are things students, professors and institutions can do to change campus sleep culture. First thing students can do is become aware of their sleep and the benefits of good sleep. Birdie Cunningham, director of operations and programming at the Center for College Sleep, highlights resources that do just this. “The online College Sleep Questionnaire gives feedback to students on nine specific measures of their sleep health,” Cunningham said. “It also provides practical advice to improve sleep.”
Faculty can also positively affect students’ sleep. For example, they can adjust turn-in times — having assignments due at 6 p.m. rather than midnight. They can also directly work with students who show signs of poor sleep. “Professors should talk with students who are falling asleep in class,” Prichard said. “About 15 percent of students fall asleep in class more than once a week; talking with these students about sleep would be a great first step.”
Colleges can also change how students sleep by doing an assessment of the sleep culture on campus and then making sure students who want more information about sleep can get it. Surveys have shown sleep is the number two requested health topic by students, yet it’s the second to last topic that students report getting information about. “It’s the biggest gap in information wanted and information received,” Prichard said. “Schools should make sure their students have access to information about the importance of sleep.”
By Tom Lancaster
The college students have left campus, but the learning doesn’t stop. Over the summer, Minnesota’s Private Colleges engage the community while providing unique learning experiences, including the three featured below.
Augsburg College offers camps and programs all summer long, including the Minnesota Debate and Advocacy Workshops (MDAW). MDAW is hosted by the Minnesota Urban Debate League, which is a program of Augsburg College and organizes debate clubs and events throughout Minnesota. MDAWs are one-, two- and three-week long camps for middle school and high school students interested in debate. Their workshops prepare students for the upcoming school debate season and provide a sneak peek at the annual debate topic — this coming year’s topic is education reform.
“Our workshops and Minnesota Urban Debate League are focused on creating critical thinkers and responsible leaders. These tie directly into Augsburg’s mission,” said Genesia Williams, program assistant at the Minnesota Urban Debate League. “We are also both focused on providing a space for all students to learn and to have access to our resources. It’s a great fit.”
Bethel University also uses their summer to engage the community. Bethel partners with Special Olympics Minnesota for its Athlete Leadership Program, which is for Special Olympics participants who want to learn more about leadership on and off the field. The program — and Special Olympics as a whole — connects with Bethel’s new BUILD (Bethel University Inclusive Learning and Development) program.
BUILD provides a supportive and comprehensive educational experience for individuals with intellectual disabilities and has partnered with the Special Olympics since the program’s inception. Dawn Allen, director of BUILD, talked about the importance of this partnership. “Many of the students who attend the Athlete Leadership Program would be great candidates for our BUILD program,” Allen said. “We are a newer program, and it’s important to make connections and engage the community so they know we are a resource for them.”
Concordia College is well known for its summer Language Villages, which are located in northern Minnesota. They have also started an English immersion camp that is located right on campus. The program draws from a combination of communities, including new Americans, international students and ex-pats living abroad. The camp includes a few things that you won’t find in the other Language Villages — like going to a baseball game, visits to local museums and barbeques with host families. Although the concept of language immersion is the same, the location in Fargo-Moorhead offers a different experience for the students.
Concordia Language Villages and Concordia College have always had a similar mission around education. Christine Schulze, the executive director of the Language Villages, spoke about this connection. “Students at the Language Villages and the college are learning skills to engage globally oriented topics,” Schulze said. “The college is doing it at the collegiate level and we’re doing it at the pre-collegiate level.”
For more information about what is happening on our campus during the summer, check out our page on summer enrichment programs.
By Tom Lancaster
Whether you’re looking for some great eats or a cool one to wet your whistle, enterprising alumni at our colleges may have something to fit the bill. And what a palatable endeavor it is to feature some of them now that summer is upon us.
- Finnegan’s Irish Amber - Jacquie Berglund ’87, Augsburg College
- Sociable Cider Werks - Wade Thompson ’07 and Jim Watkins ’07, Carleton College
- Meritage - Desta Collier Klein ’99, Hamline University
- Fair State Brewing Cooperative - Matthew Hauck ’06, Macalester College (along with Carleton alums Evan Sallee ’06 and Niko Tonks ’06)
- Belly Up Club - Noah Miwa '08, Minneapolis College of Art and Design
- Bollito’s Tuscan Red Sauce - Zachary Cizek ’11, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
- Farm fresh food - Amy Doeun ’03, St. Catherine University
- Witness Tree Vineyard - Dennis Devine ’61 and Carolyn (Hanson) Devine ’60, St. Olaf College
Jacquie Berglund ’87
“I read this article in Time magazine, interviewing all of these 80- and 90-year-old people,” said Jacquie Berglund ’87. “The overwhelming feedback from their question, ‘If you could change one thing, what would it be?’ was that they all wish they had taken more risks.”
That was 1983, when Berglund was in her first year at Augsburg College. Since then, she has faced many risks on her way to building one of Minnesota’s most successful social enterprises—an enterprise that uses beer sales to fund its community foundation.
One of her first risks? Backpacking through Europe during her sophomore year in the face of parental disapproval.
“My parents didn’t want me to do it,” Berglund said. “[My English professor] said, ‘Jacquie, you should absolutely do it. Let’s come up with a way for you to get credit for it here.’”
With that, Berglund ventured across the Atlantic for six weeks under the banner of an Augsburg creative-writing course. Her experience fostered a travel bug that would lead her back for a seven-year stay in France after Augsburg. “[Backpacking] helped me to think globally and really changed my perspective,” Berglund said. “That was a powerful turning point for me.”
Wade Thompson ’07 and Jim Watkins ’07
To craft beer enthusiasts, hard cider is something of a black sheep. “Cider is like Zima,” says Jim Watkins ’07, who launched Sociable Cider Werks last November with Wade Thompson ’07. “It’s a four-letter word. It’s considered the drink of choice for college girls.”
But Sociable is not your sorority’s cider. For one thing, unlike mainstream ciders such as Woodchuck and Angry Orchard, which are made from juice concentrate, Sociable is made from fresh-pressed apples grown in the Midwest. Second, the business is licensed as a brewery, not as a winery, which is more common among cider manufacturers. With fruit as its main ingredient, cider might logically be made like wine, fermenting the apples over time. But Thompson and Watkins introduced an unusual step. “We add a brewed component,” says Thompson. “We make beer ‘wort’ or starter, pump it into our apple juice, and ferment them together.”
The process results in, as Sociable’s tagline suggests, a “decidedly different” concoction. Freewheeler, the brand’s signature brew, tastes like one might expect a cider to taste—but bolder and not as sweet as those mainstream brands. “Sweet apples, such as Honeycrisp and McIntosh, are mainly for eating and lack tannins, which contribute to bitterness,” says Watkins. “Bitterness is essential for structure or body. It engages the back part of the tongue and gives the beverage some weight. When we couldn’t get that bitterness from the apples alone, we thought, ‘Well, let’s brew it in.’ ”
Desta Collier Klein ’99
Meritage, Saint Paul’s renowned French brasserie and oyster bar, is tucked on the ground floor of the historic Hamm Building on St. Peter Street, behind the Landmark Center. Whether you’re seated inside its charming dining room or outside on the sidewalk, you get the sense of being at a Paris street café, enjoying a glass of wine and a delicious meal while being attended to by friendly and knowledgeable servers.
That’s just how the restaurant’s owners, Desta Collier Klein ’99 and her husband, Chef Russell Klein, like it. “This place celebrates the Paris of the 1920s and ’30s,” Desta says, “and through it we honor and celebrate the history of restaurants, which developed over time in urban centers as a place of respite for travelers. The food that Russell creates, the ambience, and the service standards we uphold are all informed by that history. We want people to see Meritage as a place of rest where they can enjoy a meal and be taken care of.”
The couple opened Meritage — the name is a blend of “merit” and “heritage” and comes from a Napa Valley wine in the style of Bordeaux — in November 2007, just six months after their wedding reception was held in the same space, previously a restaurant called À Rebours. They’d also had their second date there (after meeting when Desta was a server and Russell was the chef at W.A. Frost, another top Saint Paul restaurant), and felt a connection to it because it reminded them of Balthazar, a favorite eatery in New York City.
Matthew Hauck ’06 (along with Carleton alums Evan Sallee ’06 and Niko Tonks ’06)
Matt Hauck ’06 admits to being a little scared. The brewery he cofounded with Evan Sallee and Niko Tonks — Fair State Brewing Cooperative — has been winning awards, paying the founders actual (if not lavish) salaries, and garnering fans across Minnesota and beyond. Now they are taking a big step: expanding beyond their popular Northeast Minneapolis location to develop a 25,000-square-foot brewing site in St. Paul’s Midway district, opening this spring.
Although “the Northeast neighborhood has been great for us,” says Hauck, director of operations, the larger production facility will allow the co-op to increase its capacity by five times and establish its own canning line—a money-saver. Fair State will keep its taproom at the Central Avenue location and also use that facility for developing new brews. Although by law, a brewery can have just one taproom, the Fair State owners hope to host occasional tastings and tours at the St. Paul site.
It all began with three guys who met playing rugby — Hauck for Mac and Sallee and Tonks for Carleton. A year after they graduated, the three were brewing beer in the backyard of their Minneapolis four-plex. By 2009 they had moved on to graduate schools, but reconnected at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. There they visited Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery, the first cooperative brewery in the U.S. Before long — over a few beers, naturally — they were hatching plans to launch Minnesota’s first co-op brewery.
Noah Miwa '08
Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Belly Up, a new club for grown-ups created by Noah Miwa '08 and Dave Ostlund, is the ultimate way for cocktail- and beer-lovers to explore the best drinks around the Twin Cities.
When did the idea of Belly Up start?
Dave: We started the idea of Belly Up in September 2016. It took a couple of months to get everything put together. We had to pivot a couple of times because your initial idea will almost never be the final product. We did a lot of refining.
What was the vision behind the project?
Noah: Dave and I go way back in the food scene. We started a group called the Minnesota Food Dudes, which soon became a club, and it had just three requirements: love food, be in Minnesota, and identify as a dude. It’s a restaurant crawl with about eight to twelve people that show up every time we go out. We’d make reservations for three or so places and go in and order about fifteen or twenty things off the menu and just share with everyone. Throughout the night, we’d probably taste about fifty different dishes, which is where the idea of Belly Up came from.
Belly Up is a drink club in the twin cities. Members of the club get different benefits. One of the benefits is free drinks, and depending on what level of membership you're at you can either get free beer, free cocktails, or both. Another part of the membership is that you get limited-edition, local-artist-designed glasses. With the Beer Belly membership you get four pint glasses, and with the Booze Belly (cocktail membership) you get four highball glasses. All of the glasses are designed by local artists, and a lot of them are MCAD alumni.
Zachary Cizek ’11
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Zachary Cizek’s dream of selling delectable sandwiches and sauces started with a study abroad trip to Florence, Italy in the summer of 2009. The marketing major and self-proclaimed “foodie” had a great study-abroad experience, but what stuck out most in his mind was a special sandwich he’d tasted there, made from a tender brisket, slowly simmered with wine and vegetables, which added a memorable flavor.
His senior year of college, when Cizek needed to come up with a small-business plan for a business entrepreneurial class, he chose to investigate selling this unforgettable sandwich. “I knew I had a strong passion for food and this sandwich,” he said. “I called it a Taste of Tuscany. I still have (my final report and research).”
Following graduation, Cizek worked diligently to perfect his sandwich while working full-time as a medical sales representative. It was while listening to a pep talk from life coach Tony Robbins that he decided to “go for it” and enter the sandwich-selling business; Robbins advised him that if there was something he was really passionate about and couldn’t stop thinking about, he should do it.
Cizek obtained his food manager license, took classes on safe food management, and begin selling sandwiches at a booth during a Twin Cities festival. He attended four food fairs and events in Minnesota and then relocated to Chicago (with his full-time job) and continued spreading delectable dishes at festivals further south.
Amy Doeun ’03
St. Catherine University
When Amy Doeun ’03 graduated from St. Kate’s with an English degree, she never guessed she would become a farmer. She lived the typical “city girl” life, complete with her pick of Twin Cities’ restaurants, vibrant nightlife and skyscrapers. She edited the newsletter in St. Kate’s English department, and wanted to become a writer.
However, in her junior year, Doeun’s life took a sharp turn when she met her husband, Proeun, a Cambodian immigrant in Minneapolis.
“We had a kind of whirlwind romance,” recalls Doeun. “We were engaged in 10 days, married 9 months later and had our first baby 11 months after that.” It was that child, a happy little boy with a love for garden plants and sunshine, who inspired their Crazy Boy Farm in Rush City, Minnesota.
Neither Doeun nor her husband had ever owned a farm. However, farming was in their DNA: her Minnesotan grandparents and Proeun’s parents were farmers. The couple attended the Minnesota Farm Association’s New Immigrant Farmer Training Program in 2009, and in three years learned how to turn backyard gardening into full-scale community-supported agriculture, or CSA, which connects urban dwellers to fresh produce and gives farmers a steady source of income.
Today, their 40-acre farm is alive and growing. It produces 50 types of fruits and vegetables. It’s home to goats, chickens, cows and sheep. “The sky is so blue here,” notes Doeun. “It’s total peace and quiet.”
Dennis Devine ’61 and Carolyn (Hanson) Devine ’60
St. Olaf College
Late one Sunday summer afternoon nearly 40 years ago, Dennis ’61 and Carolyn Devine ’60 took a fateful drive north from San Francisco. Dennis worked for a pharmaceutical company and had to fly out to Saskatoon, Canada, the next day to monitor a clinical study of a veterinary antibiotic. Driving Highway128 through the Alexander Valley north of Santa Rosa, they passed a little vineyard called Johnson’s.
“Carolyn saw some pretty cars in there,” Dennis says. So they spun around and drove in. The vineyard was having an open house and car show. The car that caught Carolyn’s eye was a forest green 1939 Jaguar, with a rakish hood and chrome head lights. The car may have drawn them in, but the vineyard itself made the real impression. The Devines can still recall joining other visitors as they spread a blanket on the ground, ate tasty cheeses, drank wine, and listened to a tiny orchestra. In the midst of it all, a cat ran through the scene, chased by three dogs and a passel of shouting kids.
“I said to Carolyn, this is so Rockwellian I can’t stand it,” Dennis remembers. “Someday, we’re going to do this.”
And so they did. In 1994, the Devines bought Witness Tree Vineyard, not only fulfilling their dream, but creating an outpost of St. Olaf alumni in Oregon’s Willamette River Valley near Salem. Their winemaker and vineyard manager, Steven Westby, is another St. Olaf grad. He and his wife Sonja, raised three children — Nelson, Maren, and Swan — on the vineyard property and two, Nelson ’09 and Maren ’12, have graduated from St. Olaf.
Policymakers ended the recent legislative session in a tussle over a number of tax and budget issues, as is often the case. While partisan drama garners lots of media attention, what can be missed are all the agreements that were reached and policy changes that occurred. When it comes to higher education, legislation passed in the 2017 session will help college students, recent grads and those saving for college.
New incentives for college savings
Families trying to save for college will benefit from state tax law changes that were passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton. Two changes were made that involve 529 plans, which are vehicles for saving for college:
- Contributions made to these college saving plans of up to $3,000 can now be deducted when filing Minnesota income taxes. This in effect lowers a family’s taxable income.
- And families with incomes below $160,000 who save money for college through a 529 plan will receive a tax credit, which reduces a family’s Minnesota tax liability by up to $500.
“This is about encouraging people to make the right decisions about saving money for college,” said Jeff Olson, director of financial aid at Bethel University.
Creating incentives for families to save money for college can ideally start to influence how families think about budgeting. Olson gave the example of how if he is counting calories, he’ll be more careful about eating that second or third cookie, or even taking the first one. Similarly, once families establish a 529 plan they are likely to be more intentional about how they save and spend.
“For the state to do something that will encourage the good practice of saving for college right off the bat, the hope would be it helps families be in a healthier situation when their kids go to college.” Olson said. “You don’t have to save everything, but you can aim to save enough so you don’t have to borrow or don’t have to borrow as much.”
The new incentives apply to saving in any 529 plan, not just the one sponsored by the state of Minnesota, as well as the Private College 529 Plan. The new tax law goes into effect July 1, meaning these incentives can impact taxes paid next April if families put funds into a 529 plan yet during the 2017 calendar year. Minnesota is playing catch-up with these changes; most states with income taxes already offer these kinds of incentives for college savings. The new incentives are expected to cost the state about $20 million over the next biennium.
More funding for college grants
Policymakers put $36 million of new funding into the State Grant program, which helps one out of four Minnesota college students. This 10 percent increase in the program’s base funding was a meaningful jump, given all the competing demands on limited state funds. And it will result in more eligible students and larger awards starting this fall. (Need-based State Grant awards help students at public and private institutions, whether they are earning associate or bachelor’s degrees.)
“We don’t have to look very far to see that college is expensive,” Olson said. “By increasing the investment in the State Grant program, it helps low- and middle-income students have additional resources to pay for college. And the hope is that the students can then minimize educational debt.”
The new funding targets a part of the formula that is used to calculate awards, reducing the share of expenses that families and students are expected to cover. For students at Minnesota’s private nonprofit colleges, the new investment will mean that the average award will increase by $180 next fall.
At Bethel alone more than 50 additional students will become eligible for State Grant awards because of the new investment. “They’ll receive from $100 to $3,500 per student, so that will be a big help,” Olson said. And more than 700 Bethel students who already receive the awards will see increases that average $489 per year. He talked about translating figures like these into how many hours it would take a student to work to earn those amounts to understand how meaningful these grants are for students.
Olson added that modest increases over time can help keep a college education within grasp — failing to act at all would only worsen the affordability challenge.
New help for student debt
The tax law also includes a new tax credit for college graduates with qualified education loans. Available for use when Minnesotans file their 2017 taxes, this new credit targets borrowers with a high debt-to-income ratio.
About 65,000 Minnesotans will benefit from the student loan tax credit; the average credit is expected to be about $414. Minnesota is the first state to create these kinds of student loan credits to respond to concerns about the burden of student loans; this provision is expected to cost more than $54 million over the next biennium.
By John Manning
Each year, our member institutions ask their recent grads about their post-graduation plans and employment outcomes. Here are some key findings about the class of 2015 within one year or graduation:
- 85 percent were employed
- 20 percent were continuing their education (And yes, some are balancing both work and school at the same time.)
- 6 percent were doing voluntary service and military service
Finance and Commerce highlights Augsburg's Hagfors Center in private college construction update
Augsburg College’s 135,000-square-foot Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion is designed foster intersections among areas of study.
Saint Ben’s alumnae Paige Merwin and Kalia Vang earn Fulbright ETA positions
In the last four years, 22 students or graduates from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University have earned Fulbright ETA awards.
Saint Mary’s hosts first Advancing Regenerative Medicine workshop
Nineteen select undergraduate sophomore and junior science majors from seven colleges participated in Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s first Advancing Regenerative Medicine (ARM) grant-funded workshop.
Saint John’s alumnus Kevin Curwick heads to D.C. to engage in public policy and health advocacy
The Saint John’s University graduate will be attending the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute’s Leadership and the American Presidency summer program in Washington, D.C.
Moose Lake native named new St. Scholastica Director of Athletics
The College of St. Scholastica has announced the appointment of Brian Jamros as Director of Athletics, effective July 24.
Bethel professor awarded Fulbright and Carnegie Fellowships
Bethel University Professor of Sociology Samuel Zalanga will spend the next year developing curricula, teaching social reform, and studying in his native Nigeria.
Gustavus is best in Minnesota on New York Times' College Access Index
The New York Times ranked Gustavus Adolphus College first in Minnesota and #35 in the nation for its commitment to economic diversity among the nation's top colleges and universities
St. Olaf senior, four alumni awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
St. Olaf College senior Colin Scheibner — who helped discover a new dwarf planet — won a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to support his doctoral work in physics.
Macalester alumnae’s new food memoir is a cut above the rest
Macalester College alumnae Amy Thielen’s (1997) book recounts her cooking in some of New York’s finest restaurants and in a little house in the woods of Minnesota.
CSP sports management grads pitch excitement for Minnesota United FC
Two graduates of Concordia University’s sports management program are on board with the Minnesota United for its debut as a Major League Soccer expansion franchise.
Carleton club teams win pair of Ultimate titles
Carleton College grabbed two USA Ultimate national titles in May. Carleton Ultimate Team won the D1 men's title and Eclipse captured the D3 women's crown.
Hamline students present innovative solar panels at national conference
Hamline University physics students and faculty presented research using superhydrophobic surfaces to repel snow from solar panels at the National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C.
Schedule campus visits anytime during the year
Minnesota Private College Week is wrapping up, but students and families are welcome to visit our colleges anytime. Watch for campus visit days and open houses this fall too!
Council and Fund board changes effective July 1
Mary Hinton, president of the College of Saint Benedict, has been selected as the new chair of the board of the Minnesota Private College Council and Minnesota Private College Fund. Four new community members are joining the board — Walter Chelsey of Hennepin County Medical Center, Ajay K. Gupta of Ernst & Young, Jay Olson of Cargill and Angie Wordell of Graco Inc.
Minneapolis Public Schools, AchieveMpls and Cargill partner to boost career and college readiness
AchieveMpls and Minneapolis Public Schools announced a $4 million grant from the Cargill Foundation that will provide critical support for student academic success and career and college readiness through 2020.
New Phillips Scholars dive into community service projects
Six Minnesota private college students are diving into community service projects this summer through the Phillips Scholars program. The student-designed projects focus on a range of communities and goals, from creating a mental illness awareness program in the Latino community to building leadership among Hmong boys.
Busting through the myths of 529 plans and qualified educational expenses
Washington Post, May 25, 2017
Educational choices and regrets are inevitable
Inside Higher Ed, June 6, 2017
Affordable, but not free
Inside Higher Ed, June 7, 2017
New help for Minnesota's college savers, debtors — and employers
Star Tribune, June 7, 2017
The high price of not completing college in four years
The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2017
The state of campus internationalization
Inside Higher Ed, June 14, 2017
Key factors in successful student mentoring
Inside Higher Ed, June 15, 2017