Thursday, February 10, 2011

Computer science class helps kids

By Trisha Stachowski
Cardinal Staff

A “Computer Science for Good” class at Saint Mary’s University is currently taking the initiative to give back to impoverished children through the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program.

Junior Jeff Thomas explained, “‘Computer Science for Good’ is a class that explores the effects computing can have on a multitude of issues in today's world.”

According to Thomas, the OLPC program is working to educate children in impoverished international areas by giving them laptops. SMU Chair of Computer Science, Ann Smith, said the laptops being given to the children are specially created to be energy efficient and highly durable.

The laptops will “provide a means for learning, self-expression and exploration to the nearly two billion children,” said Smith.

In addition to the OLPC program, the class is also involved in a program called Whole Kids Outreach (WKO), which was proposed by Smith. According to Thomas, WKO is a program based near Ellington, Mo., that aims to help struggling families with young children.

“The overall objective of this project is to develop a framework for a set of activities that can be used to teach children in rural, isolate regions about health and wellness,” said Smith.

In addition to sending two laptops to the Ellington, Mo., elementary school, five SMU students also traveled to the school to better understand the children’s situations, said Smith.

Thomas, one of the students who visited Missouri, stated, “It was a very eye-opening experience. We hope to introduce these laptops to this area to help combat some of the issues they are experiencing.”

Smith said that she considered this trip, and the class in general, to be an important experience to encourage the students to “develop technology solutions for social problems.”

SMU ranked first for minority grads in STEM programs

By Lauren Rothering
Editor in Chief

According to a recent Forbes report, Saint Mary’s University is the nation’s top-ranked university for graduating minority students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.

“The school doesn’t have a large minority population,” Forbes reports. “But of those minority students, 35% received their degrees in STEM—well above the median among colleges, which is just 10%.”

SMU offers STEM programs both at its Winona campus and in bachelor completion programs at its Twin Cities campus. To conduct their research, Forbes compared the percentage of blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians (groups typically underrepresented in STEM) to whites and Asians (groups typically well-represented in STEM). Forbes excluded from its study those schools whose student population is almost entirely minority students.

Through this process, SMU came out on top, even though its university-wide undergraduate “graduating class of 2008 was barely 10% minority, just above the national median,” said the report.

According to Dr. Thomas Mans, professor of social science and director of college assessment, SMU’s Lasallian heritage plays a large part in the rankings.

“We take that [our heritage] very seriously.” With regard to the Winona undergraduate college, Mans said “We’re self-consciously not an elite institution. It makes it really good for kids who are first-generation, for kids who are coming from modest backgrounds,” said Mans.

STEM program graduates typically have the highest starting and mid-career salaries, said the report, a fact that Mans deems important for SMU students, especially.

“STEM careers are great careers; we know that, and we get that message across to them [the students],” said Mans. “There is this sense that part of our mission is to find [students] with potential and to make it work for them when it may not have worked for them somewhere else.”

Controversy remains for French major and minor

By Andrea Allis
Copy Editor

Toward the end of the spring semester last year, the French major and minor at Saint Mary’s University were suspended by the curriculum committee based on findings presented to a faculty committee formed to discuss the issue.

According to Dorothy Diehl, Ph.D., chair of modern and classical languages, the faculty committee was formed at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year at the request of SMU President Brother William Mann. Administration made the decision to suspend the French major and minor shortly after the committee’s decision, Diehl said.

According to Marilyn Frost, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs, the administration’s decision was based on research on the French major over the last 10 years. In her report to the faculty committee, Frost said she looked at the number of students enrolled in French courses and the faculty hours it takes to staff those courses. She also compared the French department with other SMU departments.

Since foreign language is one of only two academic departments at SMU that is not included in general education program requirements, French class sizes are typically very small, Diehl said. French classes only fulfill the requirements of French majors and minors, Diehl said.

Based on the research presented to the faculty committee by both Diehl and Frost, it was decided that it was “not viable” to continue the French major, Frost said. She added that if an increase in students interested in French at SMU is observed in the future, the French program issue will be “revisited in an expedient way.”

Still, Diehl finds it “difficult to justify” the discontinuation of the French program at SMU. She said that French has been offered at SMU since she became a part of the faculty in 1999 and that relatively little has changed in the way of student interest in the French program or the how the program itself is run. Said Diehl, “It’s difficult to understand why such a sudden decision was made without asking the students how they felt about it.”

Diehl further described the decision as “short-sighted.” She said that this decision will make SMU one of two liberal arts schools in Minnesota that does not have a foreign language requirement and that only offers one foreign language as a major or minor. (Spanish is now the only foreign language major or minor at SMU.)

“This decision will not make [Saint Mary’s University] more appealing,” said Diehl. “We are not thinking of what’s best for our students or for our university.”

Frost said French classes at SMU will still be offered on a rotating basis according to interest. Frost, Diehl and Elizabeth Throop, Ph.D., dean for the School of Humanities and Sciences, will meet to determine how often French classes will be offered.

Currently, there are three students majoring and three minoring in French at SMU, Diehl said. Those students who had already declared a French major or minor prior to its suspension will be able to take the necessary classes to complete it, Diehl said.

Senate Town Hall raises questions

By Suzie Roth
Co-Managing and Advertising Editor

Saint Mary’s University Student Senate held a Town Hall Meeting on Jan. 27 in Salvi Lecture Hall. Although all SMU Senate meetings are open to the public, this meeting was specially tailored as a forum for members of the SMU community, especially students, to share their opinions of the university, along with suggestions to improve it.

Using an organized approach, Senate President Ali Kramer, opened the floor for comments regarding Chartwells, Residence Life, the campus bookstore, Wellness Center, athletic facilities, academics, maintenance, and IT departments, along with the international affairs and student activities offered to the campus community.

Some members of the Executive Board seemed to alternate between seriously considering student requests and offering excuses and making jokes about student concerns.

The intent of the SMU’s Student Senate is to give all students in the campus community a voice. Although January’s Town Hall meeting provided the chance to express such views, students are encouraged to regularly attend senate meetings to ensure all students are adequately represented. Student Senate meetings are held every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall.

New faculty in English and business departments

By Emily Dee
Cardinal Staff

Saint Mary’s University received new faculty members this semester, and among them were Tim Lacine, lecturer of business, and Christopher Vondracek, visiting instructor of English.

Vondracek, hired in November 2010, received his graduate degree in Literature from the University of South Dakota.

Prior to SMU, Vondracek taught for one year in Rochester, Minn., at the Rochester Community and Technical College’s (RCTC) English department and spent last fall teaching at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn.

This semester, Vondracek will teach Native American Literature, Introduction to Literature and Argumentative Research Writing. In his spare time, Vondracek said he plays in a band, and is working on a novel about it.

“I’m excited,” said Vondracek about his overall first impression of SMU. “I really felt welcome by everyone – by all the faculty.”

Accumulating wealth through creativity and strategy is what Lacine said got him interested in business. The depth of his undergraduate and graduate work is in entrepreneurial studies.

Originally from Chicago, Lacine moved to Rochester, Minn., in 1992. He did schooling in the Twin Cities for a number of years and then relocated back to Rochester. Lacine currently commutes between Rochester and Winona.

Having always wanted to teach, Lacine said he has been teaching business and accounting for five years and has been teaching at the university level since April 2006.

Lacine will teach four classes this semester. “I teach two sections of Corporate Finance, Advanced Accounting and Advanced Entrepreneurship seminar,” said Lacine.

'Likealittle' takes campus by storm

By Sarah McDonough
Co-Managing and Advertising Editor

On Oct. 27, 2,040 miles west of Winona at Standford University, news was spreading around campus regarding an alumnus’ new social network website titled “” (LAL).

Evan Reas, a 2009 graduate of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, is one of the three co-founders in creating LAL, a site that allows users to search for their college campus and see what their fellow classmates are posting, or to go to create a post of their own.

The posts are attempts to anonymously “flirt” with someone on campus, hoping that their crush will see their post and that conversation can take place through feedback on the author’s original post or through the chat box option.

LAL did not truly catch the attention of SMU students until about three weeks ago. Currently there are 209 SMU students “liking” this site via their personal Facebook, but the site can be viewed and posts can be created by anyone – not requiring a log-in or Facebook membership.

“Honestly at first I liked it. It was really funny and interesting in the sense that there was nothing out there similar to ‘LikeaLittle’ so the change in the social network was cool,” said senior Megan Rowland.

When on the SMU LAL page, which is the same type of format featured on all campus pages, students can post the location of where they saw their crush, what they look and pronounce their feelings for them all at once.

Although the number of SMU’s LAL site viewership is increasing, user intentions are unclear. Some seem to spend hours browsing the site to see if perhaps a post is made on their behalf or try to guess who the author of a post is or, better yet, guess who the post is describing. On the site, LAL claims that they want to keep the image of a “positive, complimentary community.”

To help with those efforts, LAL allows users the option to remove a post deemed by the reader as offensive or post containing full names.

Last week, KSMR radio show listeners on Thursday from 5-6 p.m. shared their thoughts on the site. Callers vented about stories of people posing as other students and leaving “gross” comments, as well as commended those that viewed the website as an opportunity to vocalize feelings that they would have been too shy to mention otherwise.

“I understand the concept of the whole thing to flirt with each other but some people are taking it way out of hand. Personally, I think it’s a downgrading site – a way to protect your identity and say whatever it is you want without anyone knowing who is saying it. It gives the student a chance to play a role that they wouldn’t normally play had they not been anonymous,” said Rowland. “The more I looked at the comments, the more I disliked it completely.”

'Celebrate. Give Back' day approaching

By Becca Sandager
News Editor

The Future Alumni Committee (FAC) and the Young Alumni Association at Saint Mary’s University will hold “Celebrate. Give Back” Day on Friday, Feb. 18.

“Celebrate. Give Back” is an event to celebrate the gifts SMU alumni and supporters have made towards the campus and the impact these gifts have made on SMU students, staff and faculty. Throughout the day, there will be facts posted around campus on how alumni have helped SMU. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Michael H. Toner Center for Students and in Saint Mary’s Hall, there will be free Bloedow’s donuts and the chance for students to “give back” by signing a banner showing their appreciation for SMU alumni.

The day will wrap-up with a free concert by “The Freezers,” a cover-band, from 7 – 9 p.m. in the Saint Mary’s Common Room. A door prize will also be offered.

To get involved with FAC, or for more information on alumni relations, contact Sarah McDonough, FAC president, at

Dance Team to host 1st annual university dance show

By Suzie Roth
Co-Managing and Advertising Editor

Sunday Feb. 27 at 1 p.m., the Saint Mary’s dance team will be holding their first Spring Dance Show.

High school and college dance teams, along with community studios and campus clubs will be showcasing their own routines in the SMU gymnasium, located in the Michael Toner Center for Students.

Captain Abby Ayotte and Allison Johnson encourage having groups attend this fun-filled dance show and encourage requests for more information at either or Registration is free and can be made done e-mail by providing the name of group performing, number of routines to be performed, and song titles.

Adventure and art in Florence

By Karol Ibarra
Cardinal Staff

A senior at Saint Mary’s University, Nicole Krystosek, studied with the SAI (Study Abroad Italy) program in Florence, Italy in the spring semester of 2010.

The city and Florence University of Arts seemed like a perfect fit for her, which is what drew Krystosek into the program. The SAI program offered “housing, a cell phone, a meal plan and excursions,” said Krystosek.

“Since I am an art major I took all art classes, with the exception of Italian, and loved all of them,” said Krystosek.

Picking up the language was a little difficult at first, but Krystosek said it shouldn’t stop people from studying abroad.

“The language was something I struggled with. But with the help of my Italian Language Class, I was able to manage. My amazing new friends helped me out with the language.”

While living abroad for the semester, Krystosek said she was living in an apartment next to the Santa Croche, located in the heart of Florence. “My bedroom overlooked the steeple of the church, which was nothing short of amazing,” Krystosek said. “I lived with three girls that I had never met before, who were from different parts of the [U.S.].”

According to Krystosek she enjoyed “every moment of [her] experience abroad,” but she did have some “ups and downs.”

“I struggled with homesickness, roommate issues and negative personalities of others in general, but the downs made the ups more beautiful and prominent,” said Krystosek.

Krystosek has advice for future students considering sharing this experience: “Arrive with an open mind. Take on the new culture as your own. Be adventurous; the random adventures are what make your experience unique.”

Señoras and siestas in Spain

y Meg Beerling
Cardinal Staff

Among the variety of choices to study abroad at Saint Mary's University, Spain is one that a few SMU students enjoyed last semester.

Junior Heidi Loeffler studied in Spain last semester. She first found out about the option when she heard other students talking in her Spanish class, which led her to the study abroad office.

The program is based through the Center for Cross Cultural Studies (CCCS), which runs two programs in Spain and one in Argentina, said Loeffler. Loeffler and fellow SMU junior, Valerie Ross both studied in Sevilla, Spain.

Students may choose to live with a host family or to stay in the dorms, said Loeffler. Loeffler decided to stay with a 68-year-old woman that she refers to as her señora.

Loeffler has six years of Spanish speaking skills, however, the language barrier still proved to be an issue at first, she said. Loeffler said the strong accent and the way that the locals pronounce certain words made it difficult to adapt at first.

The classes were another initial obstacle and they were different than classes in the U.S., but they were a great experience and taught a lot of important things about the Spanish culture, said Loeffler.

Loeffler decided to withdraw from SMU for the semester to go on the trip. Her grades from Spain do not directly transfer over because of that; however, the credits are added towards her Spanish major, which she finished while she was in Spain. Loeffler was also able to complete some general education requirements.

Many cultural experiences are different, but one that takes place in Spain is siesta,” said Loeffler. While not everyone participates, “siesta” is a time in the middle of the day where stores close and people come home from work and school to just relax, she said.

“It was the best experience of my life,” said Loeffler of the trip in general. “Immerse yourself into the culture, you’ll get more out of it.”

Senior has 'experience of a lifetime' in London, England

By Suzie Roth
Co-Managing and Advertising Editor

The opportunity to study abroad is one that many Saint Mary’s students consider. Senior Marie Allen did more than consider it; she set off on the adventure of a lifetime when she chose to study abroad in London, England in the Fall of 2010.

Although the curriculum of SMU’s London program is geared toward Theatre majors, Allen, majoring in both Political Science and Sociology, stated she was able to meet new people and establish friendships with SMU students that she otherwise may not have formed on campus.

Even though it was difficult for Allen to leave for a semester during her last year of college, she expressed that the experience was definitely worth it, stating the best part of her study abroad experience was “everything.”

“I got out and experienced as much of the city as possible and don’t have any regrets.” Allen said without an ounce of hesitation that she would repeat the experience “in a heartbeat. I think it is definitely an opportunity that everyone should take if they get the chance.”

Despite the fact that on the surface the United States and London may seem to have a lot of similarities, Allen said studying abroad in London still gave her the chance to gain new perspectives and have different experiences. Allen noted that although there were some cultural differences, “it was interesting to observe and participate in another society. London was a place I felt comfortable, and I cannot wait to return.”

Juniors return from Norway and Ireland

By Jenna Capelle
Feature Editor

Two students at Saint Mary’s University had the opportunity to study abroad in Norway and Ireland last semester.

SMU junior, Tina Swanberg is majoring in political science and sociology. For first semester, she enrolled with the HECUA study abroad program at the University of Oslo in Norway. The HECUA program is dedicated to promote social change and political activity, said Swanberg.

Through the program, Swanberg took a field trip to Stockholm and Copenhagen and visited political youth groups in both cities. The students also had the privilege of meeting two political parties after a recent election.

Swanberg learned about the culture of Norway with other international students. Her roommates, known in Europe as “flat mates”, were from all corners of the world, literally. She had two flat mates from Norwegia, one from China and one from Germany. In addition to Norway, Swanberg visited Holland and Portugal with friends.

Studying abroad with the HECUA program is highly recommended by Swanberg. “No matter how much money it costs, it’s the most worthwhile thing you’ll do,” said Swanberg. “They say, ‘just do it’ for a reason.”

Chris Rice is a junior at SMU who studied abroad at the National University of Ireland in Galway, Ireland last semester. He took science classes that transferred over for his major in environmental biology.

Rice decided at the beginning of the semester that he wanted to immerse himself in the Irish culture. He joined the soccer and surf club where he met native Irish friends. Despite the cold water, he loved to surf.

Even more adventurous, Rice and his friends crawled down a crevice of about 1,000 feet on the Aran Islands. They held onto ropes for security and saw sheep bones on the climb down before reaching the ocean.

Not only did he visit the cities of Dublin and Limerick, but also ventured out of Ireland to see England, Italy and Scotland. Rice coordinated with the SMU Spain students, Heidi Loeffler and Valerie Ross, to visit the SMU students studying in London. He enjoyed the “Winona reunion” that occurred in Europe.

Before studying abroad, “Students should research what they want to get out of the trip,” said Rice. “Your semester will be more rewarding if you get involved and meet new people.”

Students encouraged to study abroad

By Shannon Nelson
Cardinal Staff

Many students have heard how important it is to study abroad, but the necessary steps it takes to get there are often not discussed.

Director of Study Abroad, Dr. Philip Hull, said the most important step is to “start early” and to make studying abroad “part of your academic plan.” When starting early, students should talk to both their adviser and Dr. Hull to figure out which classes they will take at Saint Mary’s University and abroad. It’s essential for students to know if their credits will transfer back to SMU.

Next, students must apply to a program. Dr. Hull recommends choosing a program that “suits your interests and academic plan” to get the most out of the experience. Students must submit an application to both the program and to SMU. A GPA requirement of 2.5 is part of a student’s academic history that is checked before studying abroad.

It is also very important to plan ahead financially. Up to $2,000 of SMU scholarships may apply to study abroad and students’ federal and state aid may apply, depending on the chosen program.

However, if a student chooses the SMU London Program, all financial aid and scholarships apply. “Many programs provide in-house scholarships from $500 to $1000,” said Dr. Hull. He also works with students individually to help them find scholarships.

Nationally, 65 percent of students choose a program in France, Great Britain, Spain or Italy, making these four locations the most popular study abroad destinations, said Dr. Hull. SMU’s top destination is England because of the London study abroad program.

Typically, students pursuing a major or minor in a foreign language, theatre, humanities and fine arts study abroad.

Studying abroad provides great experiences on both a personal and academic level. Dr. Hull believes studying abroad helps with “personal development in terms of independence and sensitivity to other cultures.” Studying abroad is also very beneficial in career development.

Only 1.5 percent of college students in the U.S. have study abroad experience, according to Dr. Hull. “It really sets you apart in jobs, and cultural sensitivity and foreign language are valued by employers,” said Dr. Hull.

Dr. Hull encourages students to join the 30 to 40 SMU students who study abroad each year. For more information about studying abroad, visit the Study Abroad Office in Saint Mary’s Hall, Room 136.

Play shows American history through music

By Trisha Stachowski
Cardinal Staff

On Thursday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m., the Saint Mary’s University Page Theater will host the Pushcart Players play, “Let Freedom Ring: America At the Beginning.”

According to the play’s website, “Let Freedom Ring … celebrates our nation’s birth and development.” Through music, the Pushcart Players move from the first inhabitation of America to the Pilgrims arrival in America in 1620, states the website.

The main characters of the play, Sam, Sarah, Jennie and Ginny experience many of the pivotal moments in America’s past. As stated on the Page Theatre website, these events include, “The Boston Tea Party, The American Revolution, westward expansion, The Underground Railroad, Civil War, California Gold Rush, and Industrialization.”

The Pushcart Players have been hosted by SMU previously. According to the Page Theater General Manager, Patrick Grace, Let Freedom Ring is a “family oriented show, [but] college students will have fun with it because it’s a musical.” Grace stresses the importance of parents and grandparents bringing children to the play as a way to expose them to music and theater.

“Let Freedom Ring” is a different kind of theater, said Grace. It is not lacking quality; it is just a different kind of theater that relies much less on technology. According to Grace, Let Freedom Ring encourages people of all ages to get more creative while also getting an educational experience.

The Page Series has been going on for 24 years, said Grace. Shows like Let Freedom Ring are chosen based off the results the Page Theater receives from SMU students, he said. In addition, Grace looks to his fellow colleagues to help make the decision. Grace stressed the importance of the artists providing educational components, which allows the SMU students and the Winona community to access things they are not otherwise aware of culturally.

Tickets for “Let Freedom Ring: American At the Beginning” can be purchased by phone at 507-457-1715, through, or at the Performance Center Box Office, located within the Page Theater. The tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for both seniors and students.

'Eye' exhibit on display

By Emma Stenzel
Cardinal Staff

“The Eye Behind the Eye,” featuring selected art by William A. Berry, is on display in the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries at Saint Mary’s University through Feb. 20.

The show is a tribute to the life and work of the internationally known artist whose career spanned nearly 60 years. In 1998, Berry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but continued to create works of art until his death at the age of 76 on Jan. 3, 2010.

“There is a chance for people in the community to see art by an artist at a level of international recognition,” said Dr. John Whelan, curator for “The Eye Behind the Eye.” “It’s important that people see that, rather than quitting, he didn’t stop; he channeled his physical limitations into great art.”

The exhibit features artwork arranged in five themes: portraits, self portraits, architectural motifs, figures and still lifes, for which Berry was particularly known, said Whelan.

“‘The Eye Behind the Eye’ shows that the experience behind the artist’s eye is a deeper vision,” said Whelan. “The artist goes beyond the surface appearances and tries to make you see in a unique way.”

Whelan and Valerie Wedel, assistant professor of art at Missouri Valley College, presented at a reception held in the gallery on Friday, Feb. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m.

For more information about the artist and his artwork, visit

FRFF deemed successful

By Jessica LaCanne
Arts and Entertainment Editor

The Frozen River Film Festival was deemed successful by a member of the planning committee.

Kathy Florin said the festival was successful because it brought “the community to engage with one another, learn from one another, and inspire to physically manifest the reality they hold in their ideals.”

There were more people in attendance this year, said Florin, with around 4,000 seats filled, compared to the 3,000 last year.

Films that were the most successful won awards. The film “Wasteland” won the Jury Award and “A Good Day To Die” won the People’s Choice Award.

For Florin, “Wasteland” was her favorite. The film was well done and emotionally touching, keeping audience members engaged and intrigued, said Florin. It was also artsy and creative, a wonderful story, she said.

Film Review: 'Sons of Perdition'

By Jessica LaCanne
Arts and Entertainment Editor

Imagine having your whole life controlled by a prophet who made decisions about how you were to get closer to God. This was the reality for three young teenagers in Colorado Springs whose parents practiced polygamy.

The film “Sons of Perdition” opens with teenage boys sneaking into their own house in order to grab their stuff. After being exiled from the Crick community, this is the only contact option left for these teens.

The film follows the three teens while they try to find a place in the world outside of what they know. Sam, one of the teens, said his family would rather have him dead than exiled. That is how serious it is to run away for the families featured in the film.

Joe, another one of the teens who left the Crick, said his home was sheltered, and children were taught to think only about the next life. Children were forbidden from dating, watching television, and reading books. They were even removed from schools. The children were taught that they were chosen by God to be in the religion that was designed to wipe evil off the earth.

Throughout the film, the voice of the prophet, Warren Jeffs, was frequently heard preaching to his people. One message from the prophet was that polygamy is the way and those who deny it will be destroyed.

The role of the prophet is to reveal what God has told him abut the lives of the people who are following him. It is up to the prophet to decide who marries who and how many wives a man gets. Some men have been known to have 70 wives.

This eye-opening film brings the viewers into the lives of struggling teens who have managed to break away from the ruling of the prophet and their struggles to make it with no support from their families. “Sons of Perdition” is a must see for an inner look at the lives of struggling teenagers who are trying to break away from the prophet and polygamy.

Miller reaches 1,000 points

By Sarah McDonough
Co-Managing and Advertising Editor

For the past four years, the name “Jess Miller” has been a familiar one around Saint Mary’s University. Since her freshman year, she has started in every Woman’s Basketball game she has played, in those games often achieving lead-scorer status among her teammates. But this veteran Cardinal was not expecting what her senior year had in store for her – achieving the 1,000-point milestone of her Saint Mary’s career.

The day was Wednesday, Jan. 12, and the Cardinals were facing MIAC conference team, St. Catherine University. For the previous few weeks, Miller reaching 1,000 points had been the point of conversation for local and MIAC reporters as well as the SMU community including staff, faculty and fellow classmates.

“I was asked all the time, ‘How many points do you have left?’ I was scared and wanted to get it over with. [I] definitely felt a little pressure,” said Miller.

Miller said that with the fear of not reaching the golden number or getting injured in the back of her mind she turned to the advice of her family, teammates and coaching staff. Their overall consensus: dedication naturally rewards itself – a trait Miller said she had been taught since a young age.

“When I was younger my parents ran me around everywhere. Besides for my normal school basketball schedule, I was also involved with a traveling basketball team. It was pretty much all year round and my parents were there, at every game – even throughout college. Their dedication made me want to be more dedicated.”

Despite this, Miller said she did not expect her hard work to pay off so soon.

“I wasn’t even keeping track of what points I needed (at the St. Catherine game), I was focused on working with the team to win the game,” said Miller, “I honestly thought I needed more than (21), so I wasn't really worried about it, and then the closer it got, people kept feeding me the ball.”

The team won the game 76-57, making the experience of achieving 1,000 career points only that much sweeter, said Miller.

“Our next game was in the Twin Cities and my whole family, including my grandparents, aunts and uncles were there. They were all so excited and proud of me,” said Miller.

“Every game I am always so thankful for the support of my family and those that come to the games to cheer our team on.”

Miller looks forward to graduation in May as both an opportunity to see what possible elementary teaching jobs might be available and to give herself a break on keeping up with a basketball regimen.

“A break will be nice because I haven’t known life without it, but I know I would never give it up completely because I would miss it too much,” said Miller.

Brueggen going for gold

By Nick Bravos
Cardinal Staff

Senior and All-American track and field thrower Andrew Brueggen has his sights set high this year, looking to be a national champion — and he is already off to a successful start.

He already qualified for the indoor national track and field tournament after the first meet of this season. He finished fourth in the tournament last March, where he earned the All-American title tossing the weight throw. Brueggen also hopes to improve from last year’s thirteenth place outdoor national performance in the hammer and to finally become an All-American in that event as well.

Brueggen didn’t always have throwing on his mind when he first attended University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. He played Lacrosse and tuba in the marching band, but was eventually persuaded to try track and field by his best friend.

“If you were to have told me when I was a freshman that I was going to be a fourth-place All-American in the weight throw — or for that matter, that I would be good at anything that had to do with track — I would have thought you were crazy,” Brueggen said.

He felt his calling change when he enrolled in St. Thomas’ seminary program in Spring 2009. It was at St. Thomas that Brueggen made his first appearance at outdoor nationals and was one placement away from All-American status.

Things then changed again for Brueggen after he met his now-fiancée after only one month at St. Thomas. The next semester he transferred to Saint Mary’s University to be a part of the youth ministry program along with his track and field pursuits.

After last year’s outdoor performance, Brueggen implemented a new summer workout plan with his training coach, Phil Whitesitt. They “decided that although weighing 250 pounds was good for the weight throw, I sacrificed a lot of speed that was needed while throwing the hammer,” Brueggen said.

After a summer of eating healthier and working out five days a week, Brueggen lost 25 pounds. His coach had him running hills and British circuits.

“Now I am faster and stronger than ever, and I feel great. All I could think about all summer and even now was that I have a chance to be the national champion next year, and I wasn't going to let anyone outwork me,” Brueggen said.

In addition to a rigorous summer workout plan, Brueggen added a visualization side of his training. He listens to hypnotist Frederick Winters’ sports improvement track and meets with coach Whitesitt for visualization sessions.

“Believe it or not,” Brueggen says, “throwing is 99.9 percent mental and only 0.1 percent spinning in circles. Throwing the weight/hammer is different than any other sport because it lasts only for around 2 seconds.”

After having transferred to a handful of schools in the past four years, Brueggen is glad to finally call SMU his home.

“I love the atmosphere here but most importantly I love my coaches and my teammates. Without them and their support, I wouldn't be where I am today. I can say it has been the best two years of my life,” said Brueggen.

Boot hockey tradition lives on

By Alex Conover
Sports Editor

When the snow hits hard, they shovel it off and start playing. When the sun goes down, the lights turn on and they keep playing.

It seems like nothing can stop some SMU students from playing boot hockey at an off-campus park behind the pedestrian bridge; in fact, the game has been played for over 20 years.

“My dad, Tom, used to play with his friends all the time,” said Danny Stark. His father attended Saint Mary’s in the early 1980’s. “We made a rink and started carrying on the tradition.”

Stark and his friends play boot hockey up to five times a week. Some are former skaters, some aren’t.

“It’s fun to get out on the ice again,” said Pat Suchla, a former high school hockey player. “Scoring goals is still fun, no matter what sort of net you’re shooting on.”

Kodiak chewing tobacco tins are scattered across the sidelines. A keg of Keystone Light is often plopped in a nearby snow bank. When the day’s games are done, the keg is hauled back to the “Boot Hockey House,” and the party continues.

Despite the lack of skates, injuries do occur. Charlie Williams suffered a laceration below his eye during his first game of the year; it required a trip to the emergency room and resulted in stitches.

“It was worth it,” said Williams. “I’m just glad the stick didn’t hit me in the eye.”

A streetlight was added to their playing surface this year; the players wonder if the city had noticed their affinity for that particular park. Games often stretch well into the night.

“As soon as the first snow hits and the temperature is cold enough, we are pouring water out on the basketball court, getting ready for a new season,” said Stark. “I’m just hoping that our season can stretch into March. We really do love this game.”

Cardinals receive award for service

By Julianne Bartosz
Cardinal Staff

Across Saint Mary’s University campus, over 320 student-athletes can be found striving for excellence every day of the week in their sport or in the classroom.

But when the time comes for them to take off their jerseys, they are often found stepping out of their own bounds and into the community. Instead of sticking to the sports that they know best, the Cardinals have started a winning tradition by completing different volunteer and service projects throughout the year.

Volunteering in the community has become a nationally recognized characteristic of the Cardinals twice in the past three years.

The National Association of Division III Athletics Administration (NADIIIAA), recently awarded SMU with honorable mention for community service projects for the previous academic year. The Cardinals earned this honor through activities like raising money for charitable organizations, volunteering in the Winona community and helping peers across campus.

Although this honor was for last year’s volunteering, the Cardinals continue to help the community through events like “Give Back Weekend,” which includes the volleyball team’s second “Dig Pink Night” for breast cancer awareness, the men’s soccer “Cardinals Kick Cancer” for the Children’s Hospital and the women’s soccer “Footin’ 4 Food” drive for Winona’s food pantry. Also, the men’s hockey team started a new tradition this year with its first “Toys for Tots’ Teddy Bear Toss.”

Aside from incorporating a good cause with their game days, the Cardinals have also spent some free time volunteering this year. Cardinal athletic teams volunteered during SMU’s annual “Make a Difference Day.”

During the third year of this event, the women’s hockey team assisted Habitat for Humanity, the men’s hockey team volunteered at a local elementary school and the softball team helped with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization.

Some Cardinals are already planning ahead for upcoming service opportunities. On March 18, SMU will be hosting a Relay for Life event. Enthusiastic to help fight cancer, the Cardinals’ volleyball team and women’s hockey team are already signed up to participate.

According to Athletic Director Nikki Fennern, the Cardinals put in all of this extra time and effort to simply make a difference, rather than for recognition.

“Yes, the student-athletes give their time; but I think they are getting a lot out of it as well. Our student-athletes are leaders in many ways on campus. And when you take a group of student-athletes who are a bunch of motivated people anyway, then they see a need or a cause that they are very interested in. They tend to be motivated to pick up their volunteer activities and do those things as well,” said Fennern.

Alex's Column: Packer fanbase is unrivaled

By Alex Conover
Sports Editor

This column isn’t about the Super Bowl; by the time this paper is printed, the winner will already have been long decided.

The Packers may win or lose, but one thing will remain the same: the Packers fanbase will remain one of the best such groups among all of sports.

I get a few chances a year to visit family in northeastern Wisconsin, and it’s always crystal clear when I enter Packer territory. There’s green and gold on company signs, lawn gnomes, cars, garages, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Babies are wearing Packer jumpers, and a hard loss can set a whole town’s attitude back for a while (at least until the next Sunday).

You see, for this area of the country, the Packers are the only show in town. Green Bay is one of the only cities in all of sports to host only one professional franchise. If you’ve never been there, please consider adding it to your sports vacation wish list.

I attended a game this year in late December. While the Vikings struggled all year in their dome that eventually collapsed, we embraced the cool elements and enjoyed watching the Packers dominate the Giants in full winter garb. Instead of clapping, you hear a thunderous wave of “poofs” — from all of the snowmobile gloves slapping together.

And sure, the Packers have been a consistently good team over the last 20 years. But what I think marks a true fanbase is dedication even through tough times. In the 24 seasons from 1968 to 1991, the Packers only had five winning seasons. Each coach they hired was worse than the last, and they kept making bad draft picks. But the fans stuck through the hard times and were rewarded in the mid-1990s with two Super Bowl appearances and a championship. The Packers have sold out every game since 1960, and the waiting list for season tickets has over 78,000 names.

People love the Packers because the team is engrained in their state culture. They are the only team in all of professional sports to be owned by the fans; instead of letting a greedy billionaire call the shots, the stock is instead owned by community members.

There are plenty of other good fans for other teams across the country. But I truly feel that the Green Bay faithful are uniquely dedicated, and they will always cheer for the Packers through thick and thin.

Inside game day: Minnesota Timberwolves

By Santiago J. Escobar
Cardinal Staff

Most people would see a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves as just a professional basketball team — a team that happens to be significantly below .500, and seems to be constantly rebuilding. The truth is that there is much more than just an owner, a coach, and players; a lot occurs at the Target Center before the doors open to the public. Much goes into the planning of an event that seems simple in the eyes of the fans in attendance or watching at home, but there are plenty of behind-the-scenes activities.

Starting around noon, there are youth basketball games going on until around 4:30 p.m. This is part of the team’s community relations, allowing children to play in the same court they see their favorite players. Soon after, players start coming into the court to do quick drills and warm-ups. During this time, special acts as well as the cheer team practice routines for the game. While this is happening in the court, special guests start arriving around 5 p.m. These guests are usually officials from other teams and season ticket holders for both the Timberwolves, and the visiting team. They have the chance to walk around the arena at this time and also get a tour of the entire facility during halftime. The tour for special guests includes the team offices, the media room, the Timberwolves locker room, the medical room, and the press room. Some guests also enjoy entrance to “The Cave,” which is a bar. All these amenities and special treatments make any fan feel welcomed and wanted.

By 5:58 p.m., there is an announcement for everyone to take their places as the doors are about to open to the public. At 6 o’clock sharp the arena’s doors open for the fans, and an hour later the environment was completely changed from the sound of a few people talking and basketball sneakers on the floor to music, sound effects, and a roaring loyal fan base which all leads into an exciting game and great experience — no matter the final score. Even if a team has a losing record, the atmosphere created by the efforts of those behind the scenes working in media, services and management can make the event something memorable, and give fans the feeling that they are appreciated and that without them the team could not go on.

A senior's state of mind

By Suzie Roth
Co-Managing and Advertising Editor

Being in college is more than parties, freedom from your parents, learning about new rules, and perhaps, the best ways to get around them. At some point, we all learn we have to answer to someone. Sometimes it is your parents or professors, other times it is your friends or the police, and for many perhaps a higher being. I have found however, that learning to answer to yourself can not only be the hardest, but can also be the most rewarding.

I hope I don’t burst any bubbles here, but no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to make enough time to be in every activity, go to every party, ace every test or be perfect at everything you try. Trying to do so, will not only lead to a life of sleep deprivation, but also a sense of defeat. All you can do is your best, choose your priorities, and let those be your guide.

Perhaps you won’t believe me, maybe you already know, but the professors that spend their days lecturing us about science, math, business and so much more, do so because they want to make sure we have the tools to be successful after we leave SMU, just as much as they want us to be successful in the classes that they teach.

Throughout my time at SMU, some of my professors have seen my best work, others perhaps my worst, but having to come to terms with the fact that even with all the privileges I have been blessed with, I cannot do better has to be the hardest.

This guilt doesn’t have to make you weak; rather it can serve as an opportunity for self-reflection. Admitting that relative to your life, you have challenges to overcome allows you to begin to accept yourself, and opens your eyes to your problems in perspective to others.

Being in college is more than an opportunity to earn a degree. Being an undergrad at Saint Mary’s has been a gift that has not only prepared me for life after graduation, but taught me how to succeed at being me, as I try to figure the rest of this crazy life out in the process. Everyone’s college experience is different. So own yours and make it what you want it to be, but don’t forget to thank those who helped you along the way.

I may just be a senior with the hope of graduation in her sights, but the sooner you learn to take a look in the mirror and truly examine the person who looks back at you, that is the point when your true priorities surface.