Paving the way in research for male school nurses

Paving the way in research for male school nurses

When Tom Stinson began the literary review for his doctoral dissertation topic—male school nurses working in public schools—he found almost no existing research to study. That just meant he would have to create his own. As just one of three males out of 130 school nurses serving the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Anoka school districts, Stinson is nearly one-of-a-kind. He knew why he enjoyed his job—the daily challenges, the independence, the chance to help young people—but he wanted to find out the motivations of his colleagues as well. And after interviewing 10 male school nurses and creating a phenomenological study for his Ed.D. in Leadership, he found that their reasons for getting into the field were very similar to his. “I could see myself in their answers,” Stinson said. “I didn’t interject my view into the dissertation. But I could tell why people do this: the daily challenge, the independence, the opportunity to work with kids.” His study also revealed that the challenges are similar among “urban school nurses,” a term that Stinson coined himself. Poverty, language and cultural barriers, and increasing medical needs are making urban school nursing a challenging profession. “Lower-income kids see nurses more than anybody,” Stinson said. “Lack of insurance, transportation, those are big factors. The language barrier can be a struggle, too. In my school, it would not be uncommon to need an interpreter to speak four different languages all in the same day. “Then you have the increasing needs,” he said. “I’ve been an urban school nurse for 20 years, and 18 years ago I never saw diabetes in my students. Now, I...
Music lover discovers English is his forte

Music lover discovers English is his forte

Paul Schmitt advises incoming college students to “leave yourselves open to experiences.” The jazz musician and music aficionado discovered he had a profound interest in writing and studying literature. For a little extra spending money, he’s mapping wetlands with the GeoSpatial Services at Saint Mary’s. And he’s not too shabby at ceramics. “You don’t need to have your life mapped out,” he said. “It became evident right away that I could be involved with everything I wanted to at Saint Mary’s, and my interests were very broad. This was the place where I could explore my passions, even if it wasn’t for my profession.” The self-proclaimed “band geek” from Sebeka, Minn., originally thought music was his forte. With blue-collar working parents, Schmitt said he was raised to be practical. His parents encouraged him to think about his potential profession, and not just about getting a degree. Schmitt thought that the music industry program would provide him with the specialized training and job outlets he would need. Through performing with the jazz band and the Oldie Moldie All-Star singing group, taking leadership roles in the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and getting on stage for the school’s music variety shows, Schmitt became immersed in the music scene. And although he credits the strength of the music program, he came to realize that English, and in particular literature and writing, was his true calling. Always pragmatic, Schmitt first dabbled in public relations and copywriting, working for the Cardinal student newspaper as well as interning with an advertising agency in La Crosse, Wis. “(English Department faculty member) Dr. Carolyn Ayers has...
Saint Mary’s University honors Brother Gerard Rummery with honorary degree

Saint Mary’s University honors Brother Gerard Rummery with honorary degree

FARMINGTON, Minn. — In recognition of a lifetime of faith-filled service, Brother Gerard Rummery, FSC was presented with an honorary doctorate by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota June 18 in Farmington at a Lasallian Summer Retreat for Saint Mary’s faculty, staff, and students. Brother Gerard was awarded a Doctor of Humanities degree, honoris causa, for his years of service to the De La Salle Christian Brothers as leader on the international level. The award recognizes Brother Gerard’s 65 years of service to the worldwide Lasallian Family. Brother Gerard has been committed to the continuation of the Brothers’ shared mission with Lasallian partners, especially within his role as a teacher at the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies and at the Lasallian Leadership Institute, facilitator of Lasallian Summer Retreats at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Saint Mary’s College of California, and presenter at countless local, national, and international Lasallian retreats and conferences. He has also contributed greatly to the quality of Lasallian resources and publications and to a deeper appreciation of catechesis and religious education in the modern world. Brother Gerard has been committed to the continuation of the Brothers’ shared mission with Lasallian partners, especially within his role as a teacher at the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies and at the Lasallian Leadership Institute, facilitator of Lasallian Summer Retreats at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Saint Mary’s College of California, and presenter at countless local, national, and international Lasallian retreats and conferences. He has also contributed greatly to the quality of Lasallian resources and publications and to a deeper appreciation of catechesis and religious education in the modern world....
Three alumni to be honored at Saint Mary’s Reunion Weekend June 26-28

Three alumni to be honored at Saint Mary’s Reunion Weekend June 26-28

WINONA, Minn. — Each year during summer Reunion Weekend festivities, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota honors outstanding alumni. This year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient is William G. Jungbauer ’75, J.D. of North Oaks, Minn.; the Alumni Appreciation Award will be given to William Herzog ’70 of Lakeville, Minn.; and the Outstanding Young Alumna Award will be given to Jennifer (Folgers) Baertsch ’05 of Winona. All three will be honored during a reception Saturday, June 27, on the Winona campus. Approximately 300 alumni, family, and friends will return for Saint Mary’s Reunion Weekend festivities, which begins Friday, June 26, and will run throughout the weekend. To register, or for more information about the many activities and events planned, go to mysmumn.org/reunion15. 2015 Saint Mary’s Reunion Weekend Honorees:   William G. Jungbauer ’75, J.D.    Distinguished Alumnus Award William “Bill” Jungbauer graduated summa cum laude from Saint Mary’s in 1975. In 1972, at the age of 19, Jungbauer was selected as the youngest member of the U.S. Electoral College in U.S. history. After Saint Mary’s, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with a law degree and joined Yaeger Law Firm. Since 1978 he has served as an employee, attorney, partner, and currently as president and senior partner of the national law firm headquartered in Saint Paul, now Yaeger & Jungbauer Barristers, PLC. Jungbauer has represented the Association of Rail Labor Attorneys and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers before the United States Supreme Court as Counsel of Record in filing of Amicus Brief. He testified before the United States House of Representatives’ full Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during a 2007 hearing on “The Impact of Railroad Injury, Accident, and Discipline...
Partnering on plant research in the Philippines

Partnering on plant research in the Philippines

An ongoing collaborative research experience is giving new meaning to the term long-distance learning. Nearly 8,000 miles apart, faculty and students from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and De La Salle University—Dasmariñas in the Philippines are collaborating on plant research, thanks to funds from a generous benefactor. As part of a Saint Mary’s University Collaborative Lasallian Research Grant, Dr. Jeanne Minnerath, associate professor of biology, and Bridget Pethke, a Saint Mary’s senior biology-pre-physical therapy major from New London, Wis., are studying native plants of the Philippines and their anti-microbial activity. Throughout the summer students at De La Salle University—Dasmariñas are collecting specific plants and extracting chemicals from the leaves, stems, and roots and then shipping the chemicals, known as plant extracts, to Saint Mary’s, where Pethke and Minnerath are examining their anti-microbial activity. Their goal is to determine whether the plants inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms including bacteria and fungi. Their research falls under the International Association of Lasallian Universities research theme, “Food, Nutrition, and Health” with the focus area of food and human health. The goal of this Collaborative Lasallian Research Grant is to further the research agenda of the International Association of Lasallian Universities, collaborate with other institutions, and to promote research findings to assist those who are in need. From May 15-30, Pethke and Dr. Minnerath traveled to the Philippines to meet their educational partners including Dr. Melanie Medecilo, director of University Research and professor in the College of Science, and Dr. Willington O. Onuh, assistant Vice Chancellor for Research. While there, they met with Dr. Medecilo’s students and spent time learning their lab procedures....
Having a heart for medicine

Having a heart for medicine

WINONA, Minn. — Amy Zawacki knows, without a doubt, she wants to become a doctor specializing in pediatric cardiology. You could say she’s known—for some time—that she would like to practice medicine. “If third grade is ‘knowing,’ ” the Eau Claire, Wis., native says with a huge smile. But even as Zawacki adds the M.D. credentials after her name she never wants to get so engrossed in diagnosis that she loses site of “the compassion piece.” For her, it’s all about caring for her patients. Zawacki, a biology major, currently works on the cardio floor at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire as a Certified Nursing Assistant. “I love my job,” she said with extra emphasis on “love.” “We work with people when they are at their most vulnerable,” she said, explaining that even the strongest individuals can be nervous before open-heart surgery. “I know that I have to show compassion to every person that I treat,” she said. “My mom tells me that I may be the only happy person they see today, so if it means sitting five minutes at their bedside and holding their hand while they tell you about their grandchildren, it’s the little things that mean the world.” It’s Zawacki’s hospital work that inspired her ongoing senior research project and thesis. After taking an immunology class, Zawacki knew she wanted to study the immune system. “Because so many patients we work with at the hospital are diabetic, and because they spend a great deal of time in a hospital where they are exposed and susceptible to germs, I wondered if artificial sweeteners have a negative effect on their immune systems,” she said. She treated mice with Splenda, which is...
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