Advancing the common good through research was at the core of the 2015 International Lasallian Research Symposium that recently drew more than 130 people from 30 institutions and nine countries to the Saint Mary’s University Twin Cities Campus. The Sept. 27-29 event was Saint Mary’s fourth annual Lasallian research symposium. Researchers, educators, administrators, and social service professionals came from Mexico, Italy, France, Palestine, Brazil, Colombia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and the United States to be part of symposium featuring three high-caliber keynote addresses, 35 breakout sessions (in the areas of educational innovation, environmental sustainability, and health/nutrition), eight collaborative round tables, as well as informal networking opportunities. Numerous Saint Mary’s professors attended and presented their research at the conference.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a university that prides itself on empowering individuals through education and a key to doing so is making that education accessible. Through First Generation Initiative (FGI), a Saint Mary’s education is made possible for some high school students who otherwise could not afford it. Also home to Countdown to College (C2C), Saint Mary’s brings high school students to the 400-acre Winona Campus for two weeks each year for four years to help them experience a college campus firsthand and receive college preparatory instruction. This fall, the Saint Mary’s FGI Scholars and C2C programs will be under new leadership. Alisa Macksey will serve as the director of programs for the First Generation Initiative at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
Dogs, horses, and guinea pigs were part of the learning experience for students in the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus classrooms this summer. Animals have long been associated with helping people. For example, dogs have traditionally been called “man’s best friend.” But, today the use of therapy animals has become more integrated into mainstream healthcare. Recognizing this societal shift in the field of healthcare, Saint Mary’s has incorporated animal therapy into its psychology and counseling courses. Students recently enrolled in the B.S. in Psychology program in Minneapolis learned the benefits of animal therapy and held “mock” counseling sessions with certified therapy animals, including dogs, horses, and guinea pigs. Yes, animals were brought into urban classrooms. Image that–a miniature horse in a building on Park Avenue.