Lasting Impact, St. Catherine University Magazine, Spring 2024

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LASTING IMPACT

After 8 years of leadership, President ReBecca Koenig Roloff ’76 prepares for retirement.

SHARING THE WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE

Alumni panelists spoke about their experiences in the healthcare profession at a November event hosted by the Nurses of Color student club.

VICE PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPMENT AND ALUMNI RELATIONS

BETH RIEDEL CARNEY ’82

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

SARAH VOIGT

EDITOR

MICHELLE MULLOWNEY ’17

CONTRIBUTORS

RUTH HAAG BROMBACH ’60

BETHANY CATLIN-JOHNSON

KARA D eMARIE MLIS’16

KENDALL GRAHAM

MICHELLE HUEG MLIS’13 / CSJ ST. PAUL PROVINCE OFFICE

ARLETA LITTLE MSW’01

LINDSAY MADRYGA

MOLLY ORTH

AMY SHAW / ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS TEAM

ANDY STEINER

LINDSAY BUTTERFIELD WHIPPLE ’07

JEAN WINCEK, CSJ, ’62, EdD

DESIGN DIRECTION

HEATHER LONGMORE

DESIGNER

KAT BRAZ/THE ESC PLAN

PHOTOGRAPHERS

PATRICK CLANCY

MARISA LYTLE ’16

ANNA MIN

REBECCA ZENEFSKI SLATER ’10

TARA SLOANE

HILLARY STEIN ’14

ADDRESS CHANGES

651-690-6666

STKATE.EDU/UPDATEINFO

mag.stkate.edu

@st.kates

@st_kates

@stkates

St. Catherine University

CORRECTION

The “Our Students” article in the summer 2023 magazine issue misspelled the bequestor’s name. She is Agnes Hyungnam, not Hyungman, Moon. All digital iterations have been corrected.

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FEATURES

Mission-Driven, Student-First

From admission to graduation, St. Kate’s students are uniquely prepared to lead.

Front and Center

The Office of Scholarly Engagement expands strategic efforts to involve students, with a new collaborative space to boot.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

The Office of Scholarly Engagement (OSE) is home to five engaged learning programs, a civic involvement collective, and countless enrichment opportunities for students and alumni. Read more on page 16.

Leena Abdulla ’24, pictured, designed the stickers for each OSE program. St. Catherine University Magazine is published three times a year by the Office of Communications. No part of this publication may be reprinted without permission.

St. Catherine University was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1905.

Learn more: stkate.edu/ourhistory

UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE SPRING 2024
FROM THE PRESIDENT IN GRATITUDE AROUND CAMPUS CAMPAIGN UPDATE BOOKMARK KATIES IN ACTION CLASS NOTES IN MEMORY KATIE DIARY 2 4 11 14 22 24 30 32 36
PHOTO/TARA SLOANE PHOTO/TARA SLOANE @NURSESOFCOLOR_STKATES

From the President

For me, the 2023–24 academic year entails a series of “lasts” as I complete my final year as president of St. Catherine University — a role that is both the greatest honor and the hardest work of my career. With August 15, 2024 approaching, I have begun keeping two lists: “Things I Will Not Miss” — and “Things I Will Desperately Miss.” At the top of the first list are bureaucratic frustrations like federal financial aid disruptions for our students, and difficult meetings that begin with someone closing the door to my office, sitting down, and saying, “There is something I think you need to know.” This is a blessedly short list.

The second list, however, is long, joyous, and anticipates difficult farewells. Conversations with potential new students in Derham Parlor, the hum of comfortable chatter in the Coeur de Catherine dining room. Responses to “Happy Friday” emails, Butler workouts, serving as a Eucharistic minister in Our Lady of Victory Chapel. Graduations, Opening Convocations, and new student orientations — both exhausting and exhilarating, these are some of my favorite days of the year, and I am lucky to have the best seat in the house to celebrate the happiness and pride on our Katies’ faces. And, of course, driving through those iconic gates every morning and walking our stunning campus grounds. Our flowers in the summer and our twinkle lights in the winter always feel like a warm hug from St. Kate’s. Perhaps with my walks I am hugging it, too.

I know the hardest part facing me will be leaving the people who make having fun and doing good work here

possible: my one-of-a-kind executive assistant, Cindy Conley; a Senior Leadership Team and Cabinet I treasure; our irreplaceable Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet; a passionate Board of Trustees I respect. The exceptional staff, devoted faculty members, and brilliant students I admire, work with, and enjoy every day. The powerful community forged by devoted alumni, donors, and volunteers. At St. Kate’s, we live and breathe our mission of educating women to lead and influence. I will miss telling our story most of all.

There is a third list starting to form in my head: “Things I Am Excited For.” In the coming months, I will say goodbye to many people and traditions that have been central to my life the past seven and a half years. However, I am also looking forward to a monumental next step for our community: the inauguration of St. Catherine University’s 12th president.

In higher education, many joke that college presidents struggle to let go of the role and the title. However, my connection to the University was never just a job. Before my inauguration, I was a grateful alumna, and after August 14, 2024, that is who I will be once more, happily and wholeheartedly. Thank you for the opportunity to lead. I look forward to joining you on campus in the future — not as president, but as one of over 58,000 proud Katies.

In Gratitude

As ReBecca Koenig Roloff ’76, the 11th president of St. Catherine University, moves into retirement, we cannot thank her enough for her outstanding leadership of our beloved institution. She has held the mission of educating women to lead and influence like one would carry a precious gem. She leaves St. Kate’s as a vibrant Catholic institution with liberal arts woven through every fiber of its academic programming.

Becky’s tenure is filled with accomplishments, too many to enumerate fully here. Of particular note are the development of the 10-year strategic plan Setting Our Sails 2028, followed by the University’s first Academic Master Plan, an Inclusive Excellence Plan, a three-year financial plan, and a nine-year facilities plan. Campuswide technology and security improvements, the creation of one unified campus in St. Paul, and the reaffirmation of Higher Learning Commission accreditation through 2033 demonstrate the breadth of Becky’s leadership. The successful completion of LEAD & INFLUENCE: The Campaign for the Next Level of Excellence , which exceeded its goal by 15%, allows St. Kate’s to enhance opportunities for students and faculty, renovate Mendel, restore Our Lady of Victory Chapel, and address the University’s greatest needs.

Throughout her eight-year presidency, Becky’s spirit of hospitality and inclusion, her respect for human dignity, her focus on social justice, and her commitment to excellence have reflected the values of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. When faced with unpredictable challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Becky’s commitment, resourcefulness, professionalism,

hopefulness, and “we can do this together” attitude enabled St. Kate’s to move forward despite all odds.

In his poem “For Retirement,” Irish writer and priest John O’Donohue penned this wisdom:

Look back with graciousness and thanks

On all your great and quiet achievements.

… Let your heart enjoy a different rhythm

… Now is the time to enjoy your heart’s desire, To live the dreams you’ve waited for.

This is our wish for you, Becky, and we celebrate you with all our hearts for the lasting impact you have made on St. Catherine University.

To make a gift to the Katie Fund in President Roloff’s honor, visit stkate.edu/honor-Becky.

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stkate.edu 5

Mission-Driven, Student-First

From admission to graduation, St. Kate’s students are uniquely prepared to lead.

Both in Minnesota and nationally, enrollment in higher education is down. According to findings by the Minnesota Private Colleges Council and the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, the dip is part of a longer-term culture shift exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the midst of these trends, St. Catherine University remains a steadfast educator of women leaders, and has even experienced enrollment increases.

“Students today face ever-growing challenges to completing their degree programs and launching into the world,” says Denise Baird, PhD, co-provost and senior vice president of academic operations and student success. “We are continually asking ourselves, ‘How can we be there for St. Kate’s students in meaningful ways that have an impact, both directly and into their futures?’”

In fall 2023 alone, the University welcomed nearly 1,048 new Katies beginning their student journeys, a 21% increase over the previous year. The College for Women saw its largest first-year class in five years, with an average accepted student GPA of 3.54.

According to St. Kate’s admissions leaders, the reason behind this growth is St. Kate’s person-to-person, support-first philosophy. “We don’t pass the student on, and we engage with a holistic perspective of the student,” says Amy Herbst, Graduate College admissions manager.

6 ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPRING 2024
DENISE BAIRD, Ph D INDIA KLIPFEL AMY HERBST LINDSAY BORKIN ’15

CURRENT STUDENTS AND ADMISSION COUNSELORS GATHERED THIS PAST FALL FOR A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE ST. KATE’S EXPERIENCE.

The admissions teams work with the rich network of resources and opportunities at the University to meet incoming students’ needs and interests.

“If they need an accessibility accommodation, we get them in touch with that office. If they’re a parent, we get them in touch with Access and Success; if it’s questions about housing, we bring in Residence Life,” says India Klipfel, director of College for Women admissions. “For a student to be able to come to an admissions event and have their questions answered by an actual faculty member, to get a call from that professor when they’re accepted to the program — those points of connection during students’ application processes turn into mentorship relationships, collaborative research partnerships, and professional development in their fields.”

St. Kate’s has also recently expanded financial aid, which “allows us to continue building a student body

based on a student’s excellence and potential, rather than their means,” Baird says. “Our commitment to each student is to meet them where they are in their journey, and support them as they progress to their next goal.”

The University’s emphasis on interdisciplinary learning — like St. Kate’s healthcare Institute of Simulation and Interprofessional Learning, and collaborative undergraduate research that spans fields from English to dietetics — is grounded in the liberal arts and Catholic Social Teaching.

“That’s really how St. Kate’s graduates leaders who are big picture thinkers, who go that extra mile, asking critical questions and challenging ‘the way things are,’” says Lindsay Borkin ’15, director of College for Adults admissions. “Our students take the St. Kate’s mission right back into the community as they participate in class and cocurricular projects and clinicals, and continue on as alumni to lead and influence in their lives and careers.”

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SUPPORT FROM THE START

Moderated by College for Women admissions director India Klipfel, current students and admissions counselors gathered this past fall for a conversation about the St. Kate’s experience.

India: Let’s start from the beginning of the whole admission process. If I’m a student looking to enroll at St. Kate’s, what can I expect?

Michelle: I think we do a really good job of meeting students where they’re at in the process, reassuring them that there’s someone supportive at the other end who’s going to take them along on the journey from start to finish, explaining it, meeting with them one-on-one.

Jo: As a student, getting the phone call from admissions was big. The fact that they didn’t just send out an email, they called me and told me I was off the wait list — that’s what got me to think, “I want to go to this school.”

Michelle: That’s where we come into play to explain that for every step of the process, there will be someone who is knowledgeable there to assist you. Breaking it down piece by piece, looking at it from a manageability lens to assure our students that for every potential roadblock you see, we’ll be there to help you navigate it.

India: Jo, I see you nodding. Has that been an accurate reflection of your experience?

Jo: Yeah, especially for occupational therapy and other healthcare programs, you wouldn’t get the support you get at St. Kate’s at a bigger university, like clinicals. The placement process for my program clinicals was a big thing to wrap my head around! But my advisors were there to help me take a step back and understand that I was going to be taken care of, and that I would have control over where my clinicals would be.

Mia: A lot of the nursing and healthcare applicants I talk to ask, “Do you really facilitate clinicals for all your students?” We just have so many clinical partners and are well known in the healthcare world. It’s huge, not just for your clinicals, but your education and your career after graduation.

Jackie: I feel completely supported by the faculty as well. I’m an excellent student, but coming from a community college, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be

COUNSELORS

8 ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPRING 2024
MAINHIA THAO ’18, COLLEGE FOR WOMEN MICHELLE BARBEYTO, COLLEGE FOR ADULTS AND GRADUATE COLLEGE MIA AUSTIN, GRADUATE COLLEGE

STUDENTS

up to par with the academic level of the other students. One of my first classes here, The Reflective Woman, is a writing-focused course — and I found that while the content of the class was denser, my writing wasn’t a concern. The core classes are designed to support my success at St. Kate’s, and my professors are so supportive. I have two children, and if I have anything going on, I’ve been able to talk to my professors and they are able to accommodate what I need.

India: What else is on prospective students’ minds as they look at colleges?

Mia: No matter where they’re looking, cost is a big one. Tuition, return on investment, and also cost that’s not financial — the commitment that it takes when you have a young family. It really helps to be able to talk to students and show them that the sticker price is not what they’ll pay. Between the financial aid, our scholarships, and outside scholarships, there are ways to bring that cost down.

Mainhia: And like Michelle said, one thing I love is that all of our College for Women admission counselors are cross-trained in financial aid. So we’re not sending students to different offices to talk about enrolling. They get to talk to somebody they’ve already developed a relationship with.

Jo: The financial aspect of college was a big thing for me, too. I look at it as an investment in myself and my future. A degree is a big decision, and I remember feeling imposter syndrome during orientation — like, “Oh my gosh, I’m doing this after seven years of not being in school.” But it’s been a very supportive community of motivated women cheering each other on and rooting for each other.

Hadley: The all-women environment was new for me, and the dynamic has definitely been a “pro.” Seeing women in all the leadership positions in clubs and St. Kate’s in general, and even the way people form friendships and community in residence halls — it feels a lot closer-knit.

Mainhia: For this admissions cycle, I’ve had a lot of students who have been really excited about St. Kate’s being a women’s, inclusive institution, specifically related to them being young women. For example, our women-only swim hours — it’s important because we have students, including many in our Muslim student

stkate.edu 9
HADLEY NINOW ’27, COLLEGE FOR WOMEN, PSYCHOLOGY AND PRE-OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY JACKIE LANE ’25, COLLEGE FOR ADULTS, SOCIAL WORK JO NGUYEN OTD’25, GRADUATE COLLEGE, DOCTOR OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

3,543

TOTAL STUDENTS

21%

INCREASE IN ENROLLMENT IN FALL 2023

360

FIRST-YEAR COLLEGE FOR WOMEN STUDENTS, FALL 2023

Largest first-year CFW class in 5 years

1,402 College for Women

1,039 College for Adults

1,102 Graduate College

TOTAL ENROLLMENT

population, who sometimes aren’t able to participate in athletic activities because they are coed. I really enjoy telling students about the different women-only resources we offer.

India: We do admit men to our College for Adults and Graduate College programs. What about our male St. Kate’s students?

Michelle: No matter which college, women-centered education is a very visible cornerstone throughout all our programs. When I talk to men who are interested in our MBA and MAOL programs, we discuss perspective and experience. It’s just as beneficial for our male students to be part of this learning environment focused on women’s leadership — they are going to have a totally different lens than male MBAs from other schools, and that dynamic is not only going to enrich their own lives, but positively impact their future careers, too.

Jackie: Through education, I have come to understand myself as a feminist, and I’m not afraid of expressing those views here, which is huge for me. I don’t ever feel like I have to suppress that in class, and it’s been liberating.

Mainhia: St. Kate’s is special because there are so many women out there who want to lead and influence, but just don’t have the support, and St. Kate’s can be that place for them. We allow women to explore the possibilities, and whether it’s the admission office, financial aid, your specific faculty advisor, everyone is there to help you do what you want to do.

31%

94% FIRST-GENERATION

WOMEN

39%

BIPOC (BLACK, INDIGENOUS, AND PEOPLE OF COLOR)

From the St. Catherine University Fall 2023 Student Census Report

As a first-year, I would say that in becoming a Katie, you become someone who’s able to speak up and use your voice — but then use that voice to be a leader. And not just a leader, but a leader who is community-oriented and has aspirations to make the world a better place.” —Hadley

I think St. Kate’s prepares us really well to be advocates, and to be global citizens. The principles of Catholic Social Teaching and the St. Kate’s mission align with being a professional in whatever field you decide to pursue.” —Jo

It feels like home here. We all chose to attend St. Kate’s, meaning there’s a baseline of values where each student can connect with another at some level. These connections are what I’ve been looking for, and are incredibly valuable for my life and future in the social work profession.” —Jackie

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Around Campus

CITIZEN KATIE CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF SERVICE

In October, St. Kate’s students, alumni, faculty, and staff celebrated the 20th annual Citizen Katie event.

First begun as a Residence Life activity to engage students, Citizen Katie has since grown into an annual University-wide tradition of service, communitybuilding, and reflection. Citizen Katie founder and director of housing operations Sabrina Anderson was honored at this year’s event for her leadership shepherding the project into the program it is today.

“Seeing the ballroom filled with students, alumni, faculty, and staff all coming together to work alongside each other was incredible,” said D’Ann Urbaniak Lesch, assistant vice president for engaged learning and director of the Office of Scholarly Engagement. “I hope Citizen Katie participants were

filled with hope, inspired by new information and learning, and motivated to continue to care for the dear neighbor.”

Volunteers worked on projects in collaboration with local organizations. Groups assembled dressers for the nonprofit Bridging, put together menstrual kits with the Minnesota chapter of Days for Girls, made bowls for the St. Kate’s Empty Bowls Project, worked in the garden supporting the St. Kate’s/CSJ Food Access Hub, and created dialysis-accessible sweatshirts for the Dialysis Sweatshirt Project.

For more news and to read full announcements, visit stkate.edu/news.

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KATIES GIVE BACK

On November 1, the St. Catherine community came together for the most successful Give to St. Kate’s Day yet, raising 128 scholarships for our hardworking students. All in all, 683 donors from all 50 states gave gifts totaling $642,619 on this momentous day.

Give to Honor Her on February 14 was equally full of Katie pride. The annual day of giving celebrates the remarkable women in our lives by paying it forward to the next generation of leaders. 288 donors honored nearly 700 impactful women, directly supporting current and future students.

The generosity of each and every one of our donors — on these days and throughout the year — will power Katies to lead and influence through the coming year and well into the future.

NEW LEADERS NAMED

In October, St. Catherine University welcomed Lindsay Whipple ’09 as the new director of alumni relations. Whipple, a St. Kate’s alumna, has been with the University since 2017, first as assistant dean and then as associate dean of students.

Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, PhD, also began his role as the University’s new Muslim chaplain in October. Dardery is a professor of Islam and culture and global studies at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, and comes to St. Kate’s with experience as

imam of the Brooklyn Park Islamic Center and cofounder and first president of the Center for Egyptian-American Dialogue.

In November, JoNes VanHecke, PhD, joined the University as vice president of student affairs and dean of students. Previously, VanHecke served as vice president for student development and dean of student life at Central College in Pella, Iowa, and, for the last 12 years, as vice president for student life and dean of students at Gustavus Adolphus College.

ST. KATE’S RECOGNIZED FOR SUPPORT OF STUDENT PARENTS

St. Catherine University was honored as an inaugural recipient of Generation Hope’s FamilyU Seal, a national certification recognizing higher education institutions for their work supporting student parents. St. Kate’s was one of 13 institutions selected for their commitment to student parents.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this past fall, the Access and

Success office at St. Kate’s has supported pregnant and parenting students since 1993. The office connects students with resources including childcare, housing, food, transportation, and medical care, while also offering confidential support for pregnant and parenting students at all degree levels.

Read more about Access and Success on page 24.

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GOLF, SOCCER TEAMS CLINCH MIAC CHAMPIONSHIPS

The St. Catherine University golf team earned the program’s fourth Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Women’s Golf Championship Title in October at Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. The team clinched its third victory in four seasons with a 54-hole round of 930, 27 strokes ahead of the runner-up, Carleton College. The win automatically qualifies St. Kate’s for the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship in Nicholasville, Kentucky from May 21–24, 2024.

In November, the St. Kate’s soccer team also repeated as MIAC champions with a 1-0 defeat of the Carleton College Knights. The MIAC Playoff Championship Title is the program’s fourth conference playoff title and its third straight, making the Wildcats just the second team in conference history to record a three-peat. The accomplishment led the team to the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• The Aunties, April 20

The O’Shaughnessy presents an evening of storytelling with Native American matriarchs, including Minnesota Supreme Court justice Anne McKeig ’87, JD. Visit oshag.stkate.edu/ aunties for tickets and more information.

• Women of Color Leadership Series: Coach Dawn Staley, May 8

• Dew Drop Bop, May 10

• Commencement, May 18 and 19

• Reunion, June 7–9

STUDENTS AND STAFF

FORM OUTDOOR SCULPTURE CORPS

Thanks to a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Legacy Grant, St. Catherine University students and staff have formed an Outdoor Sculpture Corps for the conservation of outdoor sculptures in the University’s fine art collection through the visual resources library in the Department of Art and Art History.

The Corps — which includes a group of five students led by Jennifer Adam, visual resources curator, and Nicole Watson, director of the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery — received conservation training from the Midwest Art Conservation Center (MACC) this fall. In addition to protecting and restoring campus sculptures, the Corps will give students hands-on, specialized conservation experience.

“We are extremely excited to finally be doing muchneeded sculpture care on works on our campus this fall, and for the Outdoor Sculpture Corps to be in place to care for works in the future,” said Adam.

stkate.edu 13

On November 27, the St. Catherine University community gathered at The O’Shaughnessy to celebrate a monumental achievement: the November 1 conclusion of LEAD & INFLUENCE: The Campaign for the Next Level of Excellence , the largest campaign in the history of the institution.

An array of St. Kate’s students, alumni, faculty, staff, and leaders shared personal stories of the campaign’s transformative impact, culminating in the reveal of the campaign’s final numbers.

“Our campaign’s success will be measured for the next generation in the impact these dollars make in the lives of our students and faculty, and in the spaces on this campus that they call their academic home,” said President ReBecca Koenig Roloff ’76.

Thank you to LEAD & INFLUENCE donors, volunteers, cabinet members, and all who made this next step into the future of St. Kate’s possible.

Over 15,750 donors gave a total of $149,054,964 in support of four funding priorities: Our Students, Our Faculty, Our Place, and the Katie Fund.

See the impact report and full donor list: stkate.edu/campaign-donors

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SLATER ’10
PHOTOS/REBECCA ZENEFSKI

Front and Center

The Office of Scholarly Engagement expands strategic efforts to involve students, with a new collaborative space to boot.

It’s hard to miss. The new headquarters for the Office of Scholarly Engagement (OSE) stand like a beacon in the most visible spot in Coeur de Catherine, smack dab between the Bookstore and the Information Center. With a big front window, smart furniture, and inspiring paintings of suffragists and student artwork, it’s a welcoming place for students to study, collaborate, and learn about opportunities for furthering their education through the office’s offerings. Established in 2020, OSE houses five programs for student development: Antonian Honors, Community Work and Learning, Competitive Fellowships, Global Studies, and Collaborative Research.

OSE’s “Main Street” placement in Coeur de Catherine is intentional, explains D’Ann Urbaniak Lesch, OSE director and assistant vice president for engaged learning. “Having that very public visibility into what’s going on in that space, into how students can work there, connect with faculty and peer mentors, and get information about different opportunities has been really exciting,” Urbaniak Lesch says.

The University has always emphasized Katies building connections to the world beyond the campus gates, and this move to strengthen the impact of OSE aligns with that ethos. The American Association of Colleges and Universities indicates that students — particularly those from traditionally marginalized

stkate.edu 17
PHOTO/TARA SLOANE

communities — show higher levels of learning success through involvement in high-impact practices such as community-based learning and undergraduate research. With that in mind, increasing OSE’s visibility and impact makes sense.

Part of expanding OSE’s presence involved the creation of the assistant vice president for engaged learning role. With over 15 years of experience in the Center for Community Work and Learning (CWL), Urbaniak Lesch was the perfect person for the job, says Dianne Oliver, PhD, co-provost and senior vice president for academic programs and faculty affairs (left).

“I think D’Ann’s leadership here has been key to its success, bringing together a cohesive team of gifted OSE staff,” Oliver says.

“D’Ann is uniquely positioned for this work, given her experience, wisdom, energy, and deep commitment to student learning and transformation.”

Urbaniak Lesch says that the position combines her passion for student success with her deep belief in the long-term benefit of building connections in the larger community. “I’m honored to have moved into this role and be supported by leadership,” she says. “One of the strengths of our institution is we have exciting and robust ways to engage students — establishing OSE further emphasizes that.”

ALL AROUND OSE

Collaborative Research

Starting in 2022, courses can now be designated as Research and Creative Inquiry, to support students’ ability to name and develop vital research skills.

Global Studies

A newly-piloted St. Kate’s fund increases access to study abroad for eligible students who apply for the Gilman Scholarship, guaranteeing them funding if they complete the application process.

THE OFFICE OF SCHOLARLY ENGAGEMENT OFFERS STUDENT AND ALUMNI DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH FIVE DIFFERENT PROGRAMS. AT RIGHT: D’ANN URBANIAK LESCH, ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT FOR ENGAGED LEARNING AND DIRECTOR OF OSE. RIGHT, AT BOTTOM: IN NOVEMBER, OSE AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT HOSTED REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO TALK WITH STUDENTS ABOUT FELLOWSHIP AND INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES.

SPREADING THE WORD

While Urbaniak Lesch and her team have long collaborated with faculty to integrate OSE programming into many courses, their recent efforts have created a substantial new on-ramp for student engagement. Now, high-impact learning opportunities are embedded into the keystone class taken by each and every Katie: The Reflective Woman (TRW).

“As of fall 2022, community-engaged learning (CEL) has been built into College for Women sections of TRW,” Urbaniak Lesch says. “That’s a new curricular change, where we’re getting in front of students right away in that first-year experience course.” This change means that students, in their first semester, are participating in hands-on projects with three initiatives that connect St. Kate’s to the broader community:

St. Kate’s Empty Bowls Project

Creating bowls for soup socials that raise awareness about food insecurity

St. Kate’s/CSJ Food Access Hub

Working shifts at the food shelf and community garden to promote access to healthy foods

Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?

Researching racially restrictive covenants on local housing deeds

Antonian Honors

A record 29 students graduated from the program in 2023, with 404 total Antonian Honors graduates since its inception in 1991.

Competitive Fellowships

From October 2023–February 2024, OSE supported 23 applications to eight competitive fellowships on the national and international levels.

Community Work and Learning

For the 2023–24 school year, communityengaged learning (CEL) was embedded into 77 courses, contributing 1,256 student experiences.

18 ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPRING 2024
PHOTO/MARISA LYTLE ’16
PHOTOS (EXCEPT WHERE NOTED)/TARA SLOANE PHOTO/PATRICK CLANCY PHOTOGRAPHY

Facilitated by CWL staff, along with faculty, student leaders, and community partners, these experiences reinforce classroom discussions about students’ identities, the St. Kate’s community, and social justice, giving students a sense of how OSE experiences can deepen their learning at St. Kate’s.

This past fall, during the required weekly “lab” time that brought all TRW classes together in Rauenhorst Ballroom, first-year students learned about curricular and cocurricular OSE opportunities. More than 30 students who had already participated in OSE opportunities spoke about their experiences.

“This approach of having other students share with first-years carries stronger impact,” Urbaniak Lesch says. “Staff can say all sorts of things — but it doesn’t match the feeling of hearing something from another student.”

Oliver says that the decision to include community-engaged learning and other OSE opportunities in TRW classes underscores the University’s commitment to community connection, helping new students build a platform of action that will help ease their post-graduation transition.

“By putting OSE into The Reflective Woman, we are saying, ‘If this awakens your sense of justice, here are ways you can live that out,’” Oliver says. “We know how important these experiences are to our students, and we want to make the process of getting involved as easy and natural as possible.”

Rin Kilde ’23 graduated last spring with a degree in public policy. During her undergraduate studies, she worked extensively on OSE’s 2022 communityengaged learning pilot project, coordinating student work with community partners, developing faculty resources, and visiting TRW classes to talk about CEL opportunities. She believes that time spent engaged in meaningful causes in the outside world should be a central part of every Katie’s experience.

“This is a way for students to connect course materials to the real world and also to really increase their sense of agency,” Kilde says. “Students spend a lot of time learning about social justice issues, and end up feeling really helpless. There are all of these problems in the world, and it can feel like there is nothing to do about it.”

Community-engaged learning, she says, is an antidote to those feelings of helplessness: “It contributes to a sense of agency, of, ‘Yes, there are problems — but there are also solutions.’”

PORTRAITS OF ENGAGEMENT

JALEIA (LEAH) HEMPEL ’25, SOCIAL WORK

Hempel had her first introduction to OSE through the CEL project in her TRW course. She and her classmates participated in the University’s Welcoming the Dear Neighbor? project, in which undergraduate students assist faculty in investigating the hidden histories of housing discrimination, segregation, and racism in the Twin Cities. In CEL courses, the project’s team members work with students to locate racially restrictive covenants on historic property records.

Hempel knew she wanted to increase her community activism when she went to St. Kate’s, and the project’s focus on racial inequality felt like a good match. “Because I’m a person of color, this issue definitely affects me and my whole family,” she says, explaining that even her own sister had recently faced housing discrimination.

In their work with the project, Hempel and her TRW classmates dug into decades-old scanned documents. “We looked up these real St. Paul and Minneapolis area deeds that said, ‘No person of color can live in this house,’” Hempel recalls. “It was so blunt. It made me want to make a change and be more active.”

Hempel’s deep interest in the Welcoming the Dear Neighbor? project eventually led to a student employment position at OSE, supporting in-class discussions and developing presentations that introduce TRW students to CEL: “I make them student-friendly, more engaging to look at,” she says.

The active advocacy Hempel has engaged with through CEL has helped shape her future plans. She sees possibilities particularly in advocacy for BIPOC community members, perhaps in child protective services or housing advocacy.

Above all, she says, “I would encourage everyone — no matter your skin color or background or economic status — to open your eyes and make a change.”

Hempel also studied abroad in Namibia and South Africa for the January 2024 term.

20 ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPRING 2024
PHOTO/REBECCA ZENEFSKI SLATER ’10

JOSIBETH AGUILERA ’25, POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

Through OSE opportunities in the CWL Community Leaders, Antonian Honors, Competitive Fellowships, and Global Studies programs, Aguilera has built connections and experiences in the broader community. These have helped further her ambitions of landing a competitive Truman Scholarship, attending graduate school, and one day working in the Foreign Service. In summer 2023, Aguilera was one of 500 students selected out of 5,000 applicants by the U.S. State Department to study languages in an intensive overseas Critical Languages Fellowship. She traveled to the country of Georgia, where she spent the summer immersed in Russian language studies and cultural experiences.

When she returned to St. Paul, Aguilera took to TRW classes to educate first-year students on ways to advocate for social change. Through her Community Leaders internship with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet’s Justice Office, she spoke to TRW students about the Equal Rights Amendment.

“We talked to them about the history of the ERA,” Aguilera says of her TRW visits. “We talked about how to vote, how to make a phone call to a legislator. We also shared with them different things that are happening on campus so they can be involved.”

Aguilera believes that the real-world exposure offered by OSE has enhanced her St. Catherine education, and readied her for a future equipped to make a real difference in the world. “I think for me it is important to be connected with wherever you are, especially in the case of an educational institution. We have to be able to go out into the world and take action. Whether it be internships, volunteer opportunities, civic engagement, that is how you have a well-developed educational experience. We are fortunate to have opportunities to be involved in all of these things at St. Kate’s.”

Aguilera is currently studying abroad in Nepal for the spring 2024 semester.

RIN KILDE ’23, PUBLIC POLICY

Kilde’s connections to OSE run deep. In addition to a Research and Creative Inquiry economics course, she took several CEL courses, starting with a communications class that partnered each student with a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ). (Four years later, Kilde’s friendship with her former CSJ partner is still going strong.) The hands-on CEL work made an impression on Kilde, and she took a Community Leaders student coordinator position through CWL. Connecting students with opportunities for meaningful community engagement felt important to her, so much so that after graduation she stayed on to help create resources to assist St. Kate’s faculty integrating CEL into their teaching.

Kilde credits her own undergraduate CEL experiences with expanding her understanding of larger social issues and building relationships that continue to this day. “We like to think of community-engaged learning as mutually beneficial partnerships with organizations in the community,” she says.

She also believes that experiences contributing to programs like the Food Access Hub, the Empty Bowls Project, and Welcoming the Dear Neighbor? help students make important connections between their academic teaching and readings and our shared world.

Through their time with CEL activities, Katies learn that “there are many ways that people are working for good and for social change,” Kilde says. The work of community partners, she adds, “also contributes to academic goals and course objectives. A lot of the topics that we discussed in TRW are also pertinent to the social issues that these organizations address. It’s such a great way to build deeper understanding.”

Her meaningful leadership and research experience gained through OSE and CWL will soon be published in an academic volume. Kilde, Mollie Pierson ’25, CWL director Sophie Hunt, PhD, and campus minister Zach Ludwig collaborated to write a chapter about CEL in TRW classes.

stkate.edu 21
PHOTO/TARA SLOANE PHOTO/TARA SLOANE

Bookmark

Recommendations from Arleta Little MSW’01, executive and artistic director of the Loft

Celebrating 50 years in 2024, the Loft advances the power of writers and readers to craft and share stories, to create and celebrate connections, and to build just, life-sustaining communities.

“I AM BECAUSE WE ARE.” (Ubuntu)

In the nearly 30 years that I have called Minnesota my home, I have learned that the connections that generate an experience of community don’t occur because we inhabit a space. Community, a sense of belonging, occurs when where we are reflects, affirms, and supports who we are. This quality of community is crafted.

The Seed Keeper: A Novel by Diane Wilson (2021)

You Are Life by Bao Phi (Hannah Li, Illus.) (2022)

As a writer and culture worker, I have always gravitated to creatives, people showing up not as passive recipients to partake but as generative participants to produce, making and remaking our understanding of ourselves and revising our experiences of place and relationships with each other.

Culturemaking by Houston White, Jr. (2023)

Where We Come From by Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, Diane Wilson, and John Coy (2023)

A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars, ed. Erin Sharkey (2023)

22 ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPRING 2024

Notably, in the midst of the many strong winds of distraction, we must work to belong to ourselves, to attain and maintain clarity of identity and purpose. We also belong to each other in an inevitable interconnectedness. I understand this interrelationship in the concept of Ubuntu which often translates as “I am because we are.” Discovering, embodying, and expressing who we are is a primary enterprise of life, individually and collectively.

Looking For Happy by Ty Chapman (Keenon Ferrell, Illus.) (2023)

Lost and Found: A Memoir of Mothers by Kate St. Vincent Vogl (2020)

When we choose to participate in this ongoing emergence, this abiding spring, this call and response of home that we shape and by which we are shaped; as we give voice to stories and songs; as we are imprinted by seasons; as we engage and come together in ritual celebrations; as we embody and recall ancestral wisdom; as we imagine, articulate, and generate novel ways of being; as we organize and build businesses and institutions; as we nurture and prepare the next generation… We craft community.

New Poets of Native Nations, ed. Heid E. Erdrich (2018)

My City Was a Sparkling

Jewel: Voices of Newcomer Youth from Afghanistan, eds. Tea Rozman, Zahra Lotfi, and Jeannine Erickson (2023)

NEW RELEASES

from St. Kate’s alumnae and faculty emeriti:

The Punishments Must Be a School, poetry

By Emily August ’04 (2023)

Kin, historical fiction

By Alan Graebner, PhD, faculty emeritus, history (2023)

The Crane Husband, fiction

By Kelly Barnhill ’96 (2023)

Everyday Linguistics: An Introduction to the Study of Language, nonfiction

faculty emerita, English (2024)

Available through the St. Kate’s Bookstore, in person and online: stkatebookstore.com

I selected these titles bearing witness to the ongoing emergence of our collective becoming as Minnesotans, revealing this place through the shining brilliance of its peoples and in celebration of creatives who are rooting in culture, tending and scattering the seeds of story, and growing our collective experience of community. Enjoy!

The O’Shaughnessy and the Loft present:

AN EVENING WITH ROXANE GAY

Part of the Loft’s inaugural Lit!Series

June 8, 2024

The O’Shaughnessy

Visit oshag.stkate.edu for tickets and more information.

stkate.edu 23

KATIES IN ACTION

Celebrating 30 years of multigenerational impact

Access and Success builds relationships, offers resources, and increases retention.

“Our program was an anomaly — and still is — in higher education.”
—Joan Demueles ’87, MAT’01

When Jenni Overstreet ’25 first started her social work degree program in St. Catherine University’s College for Adults, she found the whole experience intimidating. “I was 10 years out of high school with no experience, working full time as a restaurant manager, with an infant and a toddler,” she says. “Finding balance in my life was a huge challenge; the first year of my college journey was a blur.”

The challenges facing student parents were much the same in 1988, when Elizabeth Wroblewski, who worked in St. Kate’s institutional research and planning, began focusing on this student population’s needs.

“I remember telling folks, ‘Our student parents are one car problem away from dropping out,’” Wroblewski recalls. “If their car wouldn’t start and they didn’t have the means to fix it, they’d miss class, and one thing led to another — a precarious existence.”

Wroblewski and grant writer Carol DeBoer-Langworthy secured funds for a single student parent support program, undertaking extensive research and planning with St. Kate’s colleagues and external consultants. The group’s efforts launched St. Kate’s own program, which became Access and Success.

Joan Demeules ’87, MAT’01 joined the program as its first coordinator in 1993. A licensed social worker who had herself been a single mother while attending St. Kate’s, she went on to lead Access and Success for the next 28 years.

“Back then, the idea was that if a student was having difficulty, maybe the best thing for them to do would be to drop out and come back when their situation was

easier for them. Well, for many of the students, it wasn’t going to get easier until they completed their degree. And so our program was an anomaly — and still is — in higher education,” says Demeules.

Beth Hamer, who had already been with the program for 21 years, was named director in 2021 when Demeules retired. Thanks to their leadership, committed staff members, and crucial support from grantors such as the Kinney Family Foundation, Access and Success continued to expand considerably over the decades. It grew to serve the St. Paul campus, as well as all student parents (not just single parents), and students in need of emergency grants (whether parenting or not). It also made the leap from being fully grant-funded to part of the University departmental structure.

Today, Access and Success is still staffed entirely by social workers, who act as true advocates and collaborators. They provide counseling, crisis management, connection to services, support

26 ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPRING 2024
ABOVE: (LEFT TO RIGHT) ELIZABETH WROBLEWSKI, MARY PAT LEE ’78, CAROL D e BOER LANGWORTHY, AND KATHY HEINZEN AT THE 1993 OPENING OF THE FIRST HOUSING DESIGNED FOR ST. KATE’S SINGLE PARENT STUDENTS, NEAR THE FORMER MINNEAPOLIS CAMPUS. AT RIGHT: JOAN DEMEULES ’87, MAT’01 (LEFT), FORMER ACCESS AND SUCCESS DIRECTOR, AND BETH HAMER, CURRENT DIRECTOR. PHOTO/REBECCA ZENEFSKI SLATER ’10
Access and Success is a catalyst for change. I was one of the first people in my family to get a college degree, and now my daughter, who was there with me, is in college.”
—Iris Young Turay ’07

groups, child-friendly study spaces, lactation rooms, and emergency grants. In the 2022-23 academic year alone, the staff served 389 Katies.

Access and Success’ continued long-term success and expansion has demonstrated it to be a leader in the area of student success. The office was contracted by the Minnesota Department of Health to provide technical expertise to institutions receiving state funding to launch their own student parent programs. From 2014–17, St. Kate’s was one of just nine institutions awarded funds to expand services to student parents.

COMMUNITY OF CARE

In addition to its individual offerings, the very existence of Access and Success gives visibility to student parents. The program creates a life-altering sense of community for student parents such as Iris Young Turay ’07, who had a baby before her senior year of high school and began studying at St. Kate’s a year later. She found a strong support network with other residents of student-parent housing on campus.

“It just felt like such a safe and nurturing environment,” Turay says. She and her peers would leave their apartment doors open and let their kids run in between. The parents would pack up their families to eat together at the cafeteria, later sitting in the hallways and talking after they put their

28 ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPRING 2024
ABOVE: IRIS YOUNG TURAY ’07 AND DAUGHTER BAYSIA YOUNG AT TURAY’S ST. KATE’S GRADUATION, AND THE TWO AT YOUNG’S FIRST DAY AT ELMHURST UNIVERSITY IN FALL 2022. AT RIGHT: JENNI OVERSTREET ’25 WITH HER TWO CHILDREN, JACK AND PARKER, IN THE ACCESS AND SUCCESS SPACE.
PHOTO/REBECCA ZENEFSKI SLATER ’10

children to bed. Turay earned her nursing degree in just three years, thanks to her own determination — and timely help from Access and Success.

For example, Wroblewski’s insight about car trouble proved prescient. When Turay was struggling with an hour-long bus ride to get her daughter to daycare and herself back to class, Hamer helped her secure her first car through a donation program. Later, when the car broke down, Hamer found emergency funding so Turay could get it fixed and keep going to class.

“I think [earning my degree] was really only doable in the context of community, and having the support of Access and Success,” says Turay. “They handle these little things that could just derail you so quickly.”

Things shifted for Overstreet, too, when she became a participant in Keys to Success, Access and Success’ intensive support program for single parents. Meeting regularly with an assigned social worker as part of the program has provided her with connections to resources, and encouragement to get through the challenges of life. “I am so grateful that I’ve gotten to work with her,” Overstreet says of her social worker. “I really feel like her support has helped me build confidence to make some good changes in my life.”

Turay looks back on her Access and Success experience with the same appreciation. “It’s just a catalyst for change,” she says. “I was one of the first people in my family to get a college degree, and now my daughter, who was there with me, is in college.”

Access and Success celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2023, and received further recognition for its impact when Generation Hope named St. Kate’s an inaugural recipient of its FamilyU Seal. This national certification recognizes the University for the support Access and Success gives to student parents.

If the impact Access and Success has had on its students and their children is significant, the impact those graduates are having on the world is immeasurable — a ripple effect tied to St. Kate’s Catholic mission. “If we really believe that a college degree is going to make a difference for our society, we have to be ready to meet the needs of the time, and get these students that support,” says Hamer.

PERSISTENCE AND SUPPORT

Keosha Morris ’23 considers the support of Access and Success crucial to accomplishing her degree while parenting. She completed her nursing studies over the course of ten years, and graduated from the College for Adults this fall.

“There was a point where I was like, ‘Am I ever going to hold that degree in my hand?’” she remembers. “This right here is that moment of success for me — to be here, to have my kids see me graduate, to see Beth [Hamer] be as proud of me as I am.”

Thanks to grant-funded program Keys to Success, Access and Success is able to provide support even after graduates walk across the commencement stage.

“I haven’t worked in a few years now, and things have changed,” Morris says. “But because I’m in Keys to Success, Beth let me know that they follow up after graduation, to help the transition back out to the world. It’s awesome to know I have their support through that step.”

stkate.edu 29
PHOTO/REBECCA ZENEFSKI SLATER ’10

Class Notes

1950

MARILYNNE THOMAS WALTON ’55 was published three times in 2023. She won first place in The Park Bugle annual poetry contest, with “Packing House Animal.” Her poem “A Creel of Trout” was published in the journal Spark!, and “Aubade: Lake of Morning” was published in the first digital edition of Saint Paul Almanac The Magazine.

1990

ROBERTA (BOBBY) CHMIELECKI

PELLANT ’93, EdD, published Searching for Sea Glass: A story about finding, remerging and fortifying Soul at Kate Butler Books in August 2023. Pellant is an MBA professor at Bentley University in Massachusetts, consultant, entrepreneur, author, and speaker on leadership and women entrepreneurship.

HEIDI IVERSON SPORRE ’99 completed a master’s degree in counseling from Adler Graduate School in 2023 and opened a private practice.

2000

GRACE HAYDEN CERT’01

published her first book at Beaver’s Pond Press in September. Fish Food: A Feminist Moby Dick, is an “antiheroic, down-and-dirty portrayal of genuine healing and living authentically.”

SUBMIT A CLASS NOTE

CONTACT US

Online: stkate.edu/alumni

Phone: 651-690-6666

Email: alumni@stkate.edu

facebook.com/katiealumni University Alumni

2010

MARY DELAWARE ’10 was promoted to art director at Harvard Public Health magazine

BRIEANNA BROSE CLEMENTS ’13 and Eric Clements welcomed baby Natalia Ella on July 19, 2023.

COMFORT DONDO ’15 was one of 15 selected for Black Collective Foundation MN’s 2023 Community Builders cohort. She also received a 2023 National Philanthropy Day Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Minnesota Chapter for “Providing refuge to African immigrant survivors.”

30 ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPRING 2024

TAMARA (TAMMY) LARSEN

MAOL’15 was named director of the Lakes Area Food Shelf in Pequot Lakes, by unanimous vote of its board of directors. Larsen had previously led the food shelf through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

JONATHAN J. OKSTAD MBA’19 earned a PhD in higher and postsecondary education policy from Loyola University Chicago in May 2023. He currently works as a senior research associate at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and teaches in the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program at St. Catherine University.

2020

ELLEN HIESTAND ’21, OTD’23; ERICA OLSON ’21; EMMA SCHLUTER ’21; and CLARA GODOY-HENDERSON ’22 had research published in July in the Journal of American College Health, in collaboration with Ambria Crusan, PhD, St. Kate’s professor of exercise science and nutrition; Jennifer Tacheny, director of Young Adult Spirituality and Community Engagement at the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet St. Paul Provence; and Mary Hearst, PhD, former St. Kate’s professor of public health. The team’s article examines the St. Kate’s/CSJ Food Access Hub, CSJ Community Gardens, and other partnerships from a One Health perspective.

JADE LE BRIS ’22 published her first book, All the Gold Between Us, a fantasy novel inspired by Greek mythology, in July; she published the French translation, Tout l’or entre nous, in December. In August, Le Bris also began classes at Michigan State University in a doctor of osteopathic medicine and microbiology PhD dual degree program.

stkate.edu 31
ELLEN HIESTAND ’21, OTD’23 EMMA SCHLUTER ’21 CLARA GODOY-HENDERSON ’22 ERICA OLSON ’21

In Memory w

Our deepest sympathy to the families of the following faculty and graduates of St. Catherine University.

Helen Boening Bambenek ’49, professor emerita of music 1961–90 w December 17, 2023

Karen Kennelly, CSJ, ’56, PhD, history professor 1956–69, academic dean 1970–79, and trustee 1982–89 w December 15, 2023

Karen Harwood ’57, professor emerita of library science 1972–2008 w December 22, 2023

Doris Benedict Guzik ’43 w August 12, 2021

Aileen Groebner Sirrs ’46 w February 12, 2023

Maxine Wente Closner ’47 w September 16, 2023

Ursuline Yackly Hughes ’47 w June 28, 2017

Mary Joan Gindorf Kelly ’48 w January 6, 2022

Terese Green Dufresne ’49 w September 10, 2023

Mary Alice Schiltgen Walsh ’49 w May 21, 2019

Mary Lou Seeley Boisjolie ’49 w September 29, 2017

Isabel Galob Hayes ’51 w January 9, 2022

Dorothy McConnell McGuiggan ’51 w September 1, 2023

Catherine Hoch Gadbois ’52 w October 12, 2023

JoAnn Laak Engstrom ’52 w March 14, 2023

Mary Lorraine Anderson Weckman ’53 w April 28, 2018

Maryanne Barrett ’53 w October 22, 2023

Lois Ehlenz Reiling ’53 w October 24, 2023

Constance Fortney Walsh ’53 w July 16, 2018

Mary Ann Lawson Hanley ’53, EdD w November 5, 2023

Elizabeth Mahoney Spillane ’53 w September 1, 2023

Mary St. Anthony Miller ’53 w December 2, 2023

Elizabeth Grady Kennedy ’54 w October 4, 2023

Dolores Huar Johnson ’55 w October 3, 2023

Elizabeth Meier Theis ’55 w January 13, 2023

Nancy Schmid Herzog ’55 w May 14, 2023

Darlene Vollmers Melquist ’55 w October 3, 2021

Anne Dean Mackintosh ’58 w August 29, 2023

Jane Ellen Kelly, CSJ, ’58 w September 7, 2023

Anna Preiner O’Gara ’58 w November 8, 2023

Barbara Probst Wollan ’58 w September 16, 2023

Judith St. Anthony Boylan ’58 w November 26, 2023

32 ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPRING 2024

Lorelie Chalupsky Yager ’59 w October 24, 2023

Patricia Murphy Lambert ’59 w June 14, 2023

Jean Muyres Bungarden ’59 w February 6, 2023

Ann Herbst May ’60 w October 15, 2022

Geraldine Tierney Boland ’61 w September 29, 2023

Theresa Villers Griep ’63 w November 22, 2023

Frances Fadell Serpe ’64 w October 7, 2023

Jo-Ann Kling Murdach ’64 w May 18, 2023

Patricia Wolters Lustig ’64 w July 3, 2023

Patricia Davies Bohm ’65 w June 27, 2023

Mary Jo Fogarty Torinus ’66 w August 27, 2023

Karen Kowalski Hickmann ’66 w August 21, 2023

Monica Malaske Lang ’68 w August 19, 2023

Patricia Holly Carlson ’69 w September 10, 2023

Suzanne Jedlika Marlin ’69 w May 8, 2023

Kathleen Kirby Revak ’69 w September 3, 2023

Russell Ralph Nieland ’69 w July 16, 2023

Jean Doody Kennedy ’70 w November 28, 2023

Helen McKasy Dingle ’71 w October 30, 2023

Kristine McDonough Anderson ’73 w June 14, 2023

Michael John Path ’73 w April 2, 2019

Dorothy Glynn Tagtow ’74 w April 3, 2023

Kathleen Moran Spaeth ’74 w January 21, 2023

Colleen Tierney ’74 w February 2, 2022

Pak-Hing Kan ’77 w July 22, 2012

Jane Theurer ’78 w August 30, 2023

Bethany Temp Lynn ’79 w September 20, 2023

Marjorie Joyce Oknick ’80 w March 4, 2019

Judith Knispel Smida ’81 w October 31, 2018

Elizabeth Merz ’85 w November 30, 2023

Kathleen Storkamp Fluegel ’87, MSW’95 w April 23, 2023

Donald F. Fidler, Jr. PMIN Cert’89 w February 6, 2022

Lydia Meyer Kietzer ’89 w November 3, 2023

Colleen Dolan-Young ’90 w April 13, 2023

Anne Jeffrey Stone ’93, AA’68 w October 1, 2023

Carole Larsen Woody ’93 w December 2, 2023

Nancy Schulz Brumbaugh ’94, MSW’97

Beverly Jackson Smiley Cert’98 w March 23, 2021

Michelle Shields West MLIS’04 w August 8, 2023

Brenda Langer White ’07 w April 29, 2018

Kathleen Malinchoc MSW’11 w January 17, 2023

Gregory J. Merth ’15 w January 11, 2023

BRENDA HARAM CANEDY ’71, PhD

Brenda Haram Canedy ’71, PhD, faculty emerita of nursing, passed away on August 2, 2023, at the age of 90. She is remembered for her dual passions for nursing and art.

Born in 1923, Canedy grew up in Indiana and later graduated from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts with a double major in English and elementary education. In 1956, Canedy and her husband, Norman Canedy, were married in Indiana and moved to New York City. Their work subsequently took them back to Cambridge, where Brenda worked as assistant to the director of women’s archives at Radcliffe, and then to Philadelphia and London.

The couple moved to the Twin Cities, and in 1971 Canedy earned a nursing degree from St. Kate’s. She then completed a master’s degree in nursing and a PhD in interpersonal communication from the University of Minnesota, where she began teaching. She was honored by the university as a Distinguished Alumni in the School of Nursing.

Canedy began teaching nursing at St. Kate’s in 1991, eventually becoming director of the graduate program. Upon her retirement in 2004, she received faculty emerita status. In 2009, Canedy was celebrated for her compassionate healthcare leadership for the University of Minnesota School of Nursing centennial.

Canedy and her husband were both passionate art collectors, gathering a collection of Renaissance drawings and paintings over the course of their lives together.

stkate.edu 33
PHOTO/PATRICK CLANCY PHOTOGRAPHY

PATRICIA ODE

Patricia Ode, faculty emerita of dietetics, died on August 16, 2023. She was 76.

Born in 1946 in Hartford, Connecticut, Ode graduated from Conard High School in West Hartford in 1964. She then graduated from the College of St. Elizabeth in 1968 in Morristown, New Jersey, and earned a master’s degree in 1980 from the thenCollege (now University) of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Ode met her husband Jerry while completing an internship in Rochester, Minnesota.

Ode worked in dietetics at the University of Minnesota hospital and St. John’s Hospital. In 1991 she began teaching dietetics and home economics at St. Kate’s, later becoming the director of the dietetics program.

Pat enjoyed a social life with her and Jerry’s relatives and friends, and enjoyed cooking, baking, and gardening. She was dedicated to supporting youth programs in roles such as room mother, swim club treasurer, and more.

GEORGE ROCHEFORT, PhD

George Rochefort, PhD, faculty emeritus of classics, passed away on September 23, 2023. He was preceded in death three months prior by his wife of 58 years, Patricia Rochefort, who died on June 23, 2023.

Born in 1932, Rochefort graduated from Boston College High School and earned a degree in theology from Boston College. He met Patricia while both were teaching at Somerville High School, and completed his PhD in classics from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. In 1969 the Rocheforts moved to St. Paul, where George taught at the University of Minnesota and then St. Kate’s.

In 1990, Rochefort served on the St. Kate’s committee formed to revise the core curriculum, developing a humanities proposal built on the St. Catherine mission as a Catholic liberal arts college for women. Of the 200 applicants, St. Kate’s was the only Minnesota, only women’s, and one of two Catholic institutions to receive one of the resulting 27 grants given by the Association of American Colleges.

Rochefort held the Sister Mona Riley Endowed Professorship in the Humanities from 1996 to 1999, and received faculty emeritus status in 2005.

Would you like to make a memorial gift?

Please contact 651-690-6976 | giving@stkate.edu

Contact us to share news of a death 651-690-6666 | inmemory @stkate.edu

34 ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPRING 2024

JEAN ROONEY, CSJ, ’50, PhD

Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) and St. Kate’s professor Jean Rooney, CSJ, ’50, PhD, died on September 20, 2023 at Carondelet Village. She was 94.

Rooney was born in 1929 in Minneapolis. After graduating high school in 1946, she traveled with her aunt to Costa Rica for six months, a trip that would set the course for her future. Upon returning to Minnesota, she began studying Spanish, and graduated from then-College of St. Catherine in 1950 with bachelor’s degrees in both Spanish and English. She went on to earn master’s and doctorate degrees in 1958 and 1963 in Spanish from the University of Minnesota.

Rooney also entered the CSJ community in 1950, and was missioned to teach in the Spanish department at St. Kate’s. She taught Spanish, English, and other liberal arts courses there for over 40 years, first from 1953 to 1972 on the St. Paul campus, and then from 1973 to 1995 at St. Mary’s Junior College/Minneapolis campus.

Rooney’s dedication to her work earned her the first Anne Joachim Moore Lectureship Award from St. Kate’s in 1995. Upon retirement, she served at Learning in Style, a CSJ ministry, where she taught English as a second language. Of this work she said, “The last 10 years have been among the happiest, most satisfying of my life.”

VIRGINIA WEBB, CSJ, ’64

Virginia “Gina” Webb, CSJ, ’64, former St. Kate’s Board of Trustees member, passed away on September 8, 2023, at Carondelet Village. She was 88.

Born in 1935 in St. Paul, Webb entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1953. In 1964, she earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Kate’s, and in 1979 a master’s degree in counseling and psychology from St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota. Webb’s early career was devoted to elementary education, religious education, and parish counseling in North Dakota and Minnesota.

In 1980, Webb initiated the employee assistance director/counselor role for St. Mary’s Hospital, a CSJ ministry. Over the years, she worked at many other CSJ-run ministries, including as director of Mission Awareness, codirector and counselor for Derham Community, and cofounder of Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women.

In 1998, Webb was selected for the CSJ Congregational Leadership Team in St. Louis, Missouri, and in 2004, the CSJ Leadership Team for the St. Paul Province. She is remembered as a true pioneer, faithfully serving on — and in some cases founding — several boards and councils. “Ours is a service ministry, and when we act together, we exercise leadership at its best,” said Webb on leadership. “The greatest challenge at all times is to move beyond what we know today.”

stkate.edu 35

Katie Diary

“For 106 years the area of Alumni Relations has pursued the work of connecting the minds, hearts, and spirits of graduates to each other and to St. Catherine University, our beloved alma mater.

It all started in 1917, when the College of St. Catherine had fewer than 25 alumnae. Antonia McHugh, CSJ, the highest-ranking college officer at that time, called a meeting of four new graduates “to form ways to keep in contact with college friends, recruit new students, and raise money for a scholarship fund through buying defense bonds.”

I believe that the development of alumni relations at St. Catherine University over the past 100 years parallels the progress of women’s lives and work. For instance, until the mid-1950s women frequently used their talents and leadership skills for the benefit of volunteer organizations, including the Alumnae Association. These talents expanded throughout the 60s and 70s, as more St. Catherine alumnae began

working outside the home, and through the 80s and 90s, which saw an increase in variety and flexibility of alumnae volunteer opportunities. By the time we reached the 2000s and became a University, graduates of all programs and genders were willing to take on whatever activity or task most benefited St. Kate’s future.

Today’s alumni volunteers mentor students, participate in focus groups, and build the alumni community, all while maintaining robust careers and personal lives. As they were in 1917, graduates are generous in sharing their talents with other alumni and with St. Catherine students. Nothing has changed — and a tremendous amount has changed!”

36 ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPRING 2024
Read the history of the Alumnae Association published in the spring 1995 SCAN: stkate.edu/AlumAssoc
PHOTO/REBECCA ZENEFSKI SLATER ’10

ABOUT RUTH

A 1960 graduate, Ruth Haag Brombach retired in January 2024 after 51 years of leadership with St. Kate’s alumni relations in different capacities. Brombach volunteered for the Alumnae Association after graduating, and in June 1972, she began working part time for the Association, becoming director in 1973. During her tenure, the Association ran the annual fund and a variety of events such as yearly Reunions, Children’s Carnivals, Minneapolis campus programs, Memorial Masses, and Conversation with Books. For 41 years, Brombach was also editor of the widely-read St. Catherine Alumnae News (SCAN) publication, out of which grew today’s University magazine. With her personal investment in alumni needs, deep institutional knowledge, and complete dedication to the St. Catherine mission, Brombach’s service has helped to shape the continuing evolution of alumni relations over the years. Her decades of thoughtful collaboration with graduates form a robust springboard for alumni community work for years to come, and we congratulate her on a well-deserved retirement. In 1998, SCAN celebrated Brombach’s 25th anniversary in St. Kate’s Alumni Relations. Read the profile at stkate.edu/Ruth.

ELEANOR HOCH HEINEN ’40, SECOND FROM LEFT, PRESENTS A CHECK FOR THE MARGARET HEINEN MATHENY BEQUEST TO ALUMNAE ASSOCIATION LEADERS PEGGY CARROLL QUINN ’43, BARBARA KUEPPERS FITZPATRICK ’57, AND RUTH HAAG BROMBACH ’60 IN 1977.

ALUMNAE OFFICERS

LOIS GRUENFELDER ’43, GRACE GUARNERA ’41, AND MARY FRANCES

KENNEDY HAMEL ’48

PRESENT A RENDERING TO FACULTY ADVISOR SISTER MARIS STELLA (ALICE SMITH, CSJ, ’24) IN 1949, IN SERVICE TO FUNDRAISING EFFORTS FOR A NEW LIBRARY BUILDING.

stkate.edu 37
PHOTOS/UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES
NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID TWIN CITIES, MN PERMIT NO. 822 Communications 4122 St. Catherine University 2004 Ran dolph Avenue St. Paul, MN 55105-1750 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED stkate.edu/UpdateInfo HEY KATIE! COMING THIS SUMMER: ALL-ALUMNI SURVEY We need your voice! Update your contact details to share your ideas.
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