By Amy Kalina
[Editor’s note: The Cardinal staff chose one graduating senior to honor for his or her exceptional service to Saint Mary’s and the Winona community throughout the past four years. Our honoree was not notified prior to publication of this article.]
The Saint Mary’s University class of 2008 is one that values leadership and community. In a class devoted to service and involvement, one student in particular shines. Though her many contributions may go unnoticed by some, this student has touched the lives of many through her devotion to serving others and making the world a better place.
Senior Glenna Krzyzanowski, a human services major, is described by friends and faculty as passionate, with an enthusiastic drive to make a difference in the community.
During her time at Saint Mary’s, she has been involved with Peace and Justice, Habitat for Humanity, SOUL and other activities. She has also volunteered at the Catholic Worker House and has interned at the Women’s Resource Center. In addition, Krzyzanowski works as a counselor at the Family Resource Home for special needs children and works as a counselor at a Home and Community Options house for five adult men. Through her activities and involvement in the Winona community, Krzyzanowski has been dedicated to serving through humility and justice.
“She’s different from others because she’s always willing to help, she’s extremely unselfish, she never complains, and she’s passionate about what she does,” said senior Erin McGuire, one of Krzyzanowski’s roommates.
Krzyzanowski’s passion is especially evident in her academic aspirations, according to Professor Valerie Robeson, who has served as instructor, academic advisor and mentor for Krzyzanowski during her time at Saint Mary’s.
“Glenna has chosen courses that have advanced her ability to think in a critical and integrative way about structures of oppression and her personal responses to fellow human beings in her everyday life,” said Robeson. “Due to her initiative in selecting courses and challenging extracurricular activities, she has tested and developed her deeply-held values in a very intentional way.”
Dr. Mary Catherine Fox also notes Krzyanowski’s dedication to active service. “Glenna asks the difficult questions,” said Fox, who first taught Krzyzanowski in Oral Communications as a freshman. “She has enriched our Lasallian community in so many ways and challenged us to be about the business of creating a society that reflects and ministers to the dignity of all people.”
Friends see Krzyzanowski’s humility and determination as evident in her everyday activities as well. According to McGuire, Krzyzanowski rides her bike from Saint Mary’s to downtown Winona to work, even in rain or sub-zero temperatures, without a single complaint. “She’s courageous and pushes herself beyond the comfort zone,” said McGuire.
Krzyzanowski’s good spirits are also honored by friends. “I can say she is remembered by our entire family for her good nature during a Thanksgiving dinner at our home,” said Robeson. “She was the lone ‘mindful eater’—not sure she would say ‘vegetarian’—among a clan of omnivores, and she did not even wince when we passed the turkey.”
After graduation, Krzyzanowski plans to commit to a year of service as a Lasallian Volunteer.
Though her actions and achievements have made her stand apart from her classmates, Krzyzanowski’s humility is seen as equally honorable. Robeson describes Krzyzanowski as “comfortably unsung.”
“She will be quick to dismiss the kind of recognition this article represents because she values each human being equitably,” said Robeson. “[She] sees how her success has been aided by opportunities to stand on the shoulders of many others.”
Fox believes that Krzyzanowki will continue to be an inspiration to others in her future endeavors and finds her “most deserving” of honor.
“One of the very great privileges of our work as Lasallian educators is to watch our students develop and grow, and in doing so, they help us see beyond the horizons of our individual lives,” said Fox. “While we aspire to teach minds and touch hearts, Glenna has both taught and touched us all with her gifts, her service and the wisdom her life reflects.”