Professor to sign copies of book March 21

Professor to sign copies of book March 21

Yvette Pye, associate professor in the Ed.D. in Leadership program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, will sign copies of her book Going From the Projects to Ph.D.: Transcending my Geography from 5 to 8 p.m. on March 21, 2014 at Golden Thyme Coffee and Cafe, 921 Selby Ave., St. Paul. Attendees will be able to sample Pye’s book, participate in a question-and-answer session with the author, register for the chance to win prizes and enjoy refreshments. Pye, who grew up in the Chicago projects known as the ABLA Homes, says her family life was very unstable; her two brothers were involved in gang activity and eventually jailed, and her parents were both hard drug users. In the book, Pye describes how school became her sanctuary during her educational journey that culminated with a terminal degree. Despite many setbacks with her home life — including being transferred to six different schools during the course of one year — Pye focused on her studies, graduated from high school and went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree from Chicago State University followed by a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. Her entire life has centered around the classroom and, as her book details, academics kept her safe during hard times. “I spent a lot of time at school,” Pye said. “That was my safe place. Instead of getting involved with things in the neighborhood, most of my time was spent at school. I think it was one of my saving graces that I really enjoyed school and it kept me busy. I hung out there and I...
Band, wind ensemble concert March 30 celebrates ‘Music in our Schools Month’

Band, wind ensemble concert March 30 celebrates ‘Music in our Schools Month’

WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Concert Band and Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Janet Heukeshoven, will present a concert Sunday, March 30, in celebration of “Music in our Schools Month.” The performance will begin at 3 p.m. in Page Theatre, located in the Saint Mary’s Performance Center. CAPTION: Dr. David Leung rehearses with the Concert Band, under the direction of Dr. Janet Heukeshoven. The featured violin soloist is Saint Mary’s Assistant Professor of Music Dr. David Leung, in a rare pairing with winds and percussion. The Concertino (1998) by Evzen Zámecnik is written in a modern jazz style combined with traditional classical violin techniques. Dr. Leung is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and is a frequent soloist and chamber music performer around the world. In his second year at Saint Mary’s, Dr. Leung teaches violin and viola, as well as ear-training courses, and he directs the SMU Chamber Orchestra. Other performances will include: Bernstein’s delightful overture A Musical Toast, Eric Whitacre’s hauntingly beautiful October, Grainger’s Children’s March, and a recently published piece by Valerie Coleman, founder of the Imani Winds, Umoja.  Richard Strauss’s moving Allerseelen and Bencriscutto’s Lindbergh Jubilee round out the program. Tickets are $10 for adults or $5 for students and seniors may be reserved at the SMU Box Office, (507) 457-1715, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online. Tickets are also available one hour before the concert. The SMU Concert Band is made up of SMU students and community musicians from the Winona area. The ensemble presents two performances each semester on the SMU campus. For...
News from Nairobi

News from Nairobi

By James Chege Librarian,  Maryknoll Institute of African Studies Public Lecture and PR Session  On Feb. 12, the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies sponsored  a public lecture on the contemporary political and economic realities in Kenya. This lecture is arranged once per semester to give students an overview of  political and economic issues. The lecture was given by Eric Aseka, a full professor of Kenyatta University and current vice-chancellor of the International Leadership University based in Nairobi.  The lecture touched on various issues affecting Kenya and the political landscape. Aseka talked at length about Kenya’s current state leadership, noting that it is driven more by selfish interests than the common interest of the nation. Sentiments were shared by many who use clichés such as “It’s our turn to eat!” which serve as indication that the leaders are out to eat the fruits of independence instead of increasing the productivity through using the said fruits. The lecture also covered some of the challenges facing Kenya and the reasons these problems exist. Thereafter the first pastoral reflection session of the semester was held, with skits presented by students from the Contemporary Political and Economic Realities in Kenya class and those of the Sage Philosophy: The Root of African Philosophy class, taught by Edward Oyugi and Dr. Oriare Nyarwath. The first class presented a skit about a young man looking to get permission from his parents to join the priesthood. Unfortunately his parents refused to give their blessing as they wanted to see grandchildren. The young man was then torn between two decisions; to abandon his calling to the priesthood or to...
Psychology students present research at prestigious national conference

Psychology students present research at prestigious national conference

The quality of undergraduate research at Saint Mary’s University continues to attract national attention. Recently, three students from the collaborative lab of Dr. Mario Casa de Calvo, psychology department, attended the annual conference for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Austin, Texas. Danielle Pues, Rim Woldeslassie and Ryan Diak (shown above, left to right) presented research on the relationship between death anxiety and interpersonal attachment, from their paper titled “From Cradle to Grave: Does Mortality Salience Facilitate a Preference for Our Own Attachment Styles?” The prestigious national conference typically invites only graduate students and professional psychologists to present their work. Those same individuals (and an additional student — Mandy Lindholm) will also present the research at the Minnesota State Capitol on April...
Tribute concert to Victor Jara, March 27

Tribute concert to Victor Jara, March 27

A tribute concert Thursday, March 27, will celebrate the life of Victor Jara, the Chilean singer-songwriter, political activist and playwright assassinated during the Chilean military coup in 1973. On the 40th anniversary of his death, the Stearns County Pachanga Society will perform Jara’s songs, with the lyrics projected in both Spanish and English. The contrast between the themes of his songs, on love, peace and social justice — and the brutal way in which he was murdered — transformed Jara into a symbol of struggle for human rights and justice worldwide. Based in St. Cloud, the Stearns County Pachanga Society is an ever-evolving, ever-growing organic musical experiment that aims to combine the musical spirit of Cuban Cabildos, Brazilian Samba clubs, and Spanish Charangas with danceable rhythms from all over the globe. The event, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., will be held in Figliulo Recital Hall. The public is welcome to attend, free of charge. Co-sponsors include the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, the Intercultural Awareness Association and the Student Activities Committee of Saint...

Alumni in Action: Thomas Kilbride, J.D. ’78

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois, lawyer, volunteer Hometown: Bradley, Ill. Major: Sociology/Human Services and Planning After graduating from Saint Mary’s with a double major in sociology and human services and planning, Thomas Kilbride ’78 attended Antioch Law School in Washington, D.C., and began practicing law in Rock Island, Ill. In 2000 he was elected to the Supreme Court of Illinois for the Third District. He is a past board member, president, and vice-president of the Illinois Township Attorneys Association; past volunteer and charter member of the Illinois Pro Bono Center; and a member of the Illinois State Bar and Rock Island County Bar Associations. He has volunteered numerous hours as a legal advisor for the Community Caring Conference, the Quad Cities Interfaith Sponsoring Committee, and Quad City Harvest, Inc. In 2010 Judge Kilbride was honored with an Award of Excellence in the Judiciary from the Illinois State Crime Commission. Read more Alumni in Action...