First Class Business Leader
Outlook Magazine, Spring 2007
Capturing a once-in-a-lifetime experience
Every year, students who’ve been in one of the university’s 22 semester-long study abroad programs have an opportunity to submit photos they’ve taken while overseas for a competition by the St. Cloud State University Center for International Studies. Among this year’s entries was a shot Rebecca Oihus took during her stay in China, “Sweet Happiness.” Oihus is a senior international relations major from Grafton, N.D. See all entries and essays for the last three years at www.stcloudstate.edu/studyabroad.
In the market for a grant
St. Cloud State University students learning the art of grant writing have made their coursework pay off with cash for area organizations.
Students in the “Administering Public Policy” political science course are required to prepare a grant application on behalf of a governmental or non-profit entity of their choosing. Students are encouraged to follow their passion and seek out funding resources that fit.
Senior Erin Olson is among the students who’ve landed grants during the last eight years of the program. She wrote a proposal to help her hometown of Willmar develop a new downtown marketplace that reflects the area’s increasingly diverse population. She sought out grant resources, researched the project and collaborated with the director of the Willmar Area Multicultural Market to prepare the proposal that landed a $60,000 grant from a major financial foundation to bring the marketplace closer to reality.
The project was a natural for Olson, a triple major in Spanish education, Latin American studies and social studies education and an alumna of the SCSU study-abroad program in Chile. She said she was delighted at the thought of a marketplace where the community, which is populated by people who speak at least 20 different languages, can gather for multicultural events, shopping and dining.
Students at Cedar Manor Intermediate School, St. Louis Park, will also gain a new cultural perspective thanks to SCSU students. A grant proposal prepared by Travis Braunegal and Tim Hjelmstad led the Target Foundation to give the school $3,500 to bring in a Gahanian drummer as an artist in residence. Both Braunegal, Minnetonka, and Hjelmstad, Fargo, N.D., earned their degrees in elective studies in 2006.
Troy Olson, Clearwater, turned his attention to health care problems encountered by immigrants and others who do not speak English as their first language. With his help, the Central Minnesota Healthcare Academy landed grants of $10,000 from the Initiative Foundation and $15,000 from the CentraCare Foundation so that training in using English as a second language can be included in certified nursing assistance training. The program helps nursing assistants work with patients who may have difficulty conversing in English and gives the immigrants opportunities to explore careers in health care. Olson, ’99 ’06, is completing a second master’s degree in economics with an emphasis on public and nonprofit institutions.
Professor lands $250,000 grant to help grow Tree of Life
Associate Professor Matthew Julius, biological sciences, and colleagues have been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Assembling the Tree of Life Grant that will bring SCSU more than $250,000.
Assembling the Tree of Life is an NSF research effort designed to reconstruct the evolutionary origins of all living things.
Research at SCSU will focus on the branch of the evolutionary tree that includes more than 100,000 species of heterokont algae, a family of organisms comprising sea plants like kelp. Julius expects the research will contribute data that will facilitate global studies of gene expression, of value to anyone examining the impact of specific environmental cues on algal survival.
Julius is working with investigators at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, the University of Washington, the University of Texas, the U.S. National Herbarium, Leiden University (Netherlands) and Kobe University (Japan).
The project also will give SCSU students hands-on research experience in evolution, genomics, molecular biology, computational biology and plant biology.
SCSU has significant monetary impact on region
SCSU students, faculty members and staff participate in positive ways – including volunteerism – in community life. Now a figure has been put on another way the University impacts the region – a dollar figure.
In a year’s time, SCSU contributes an estimated $369.4 million to the regional economy. The figure is included in the estimated $3.5 billion the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system annually returns to the state’s economy.
The university’s 16,000 students themselves spend close to $99 million a year, which includes room, board and personal expenses. Construction projects that bring contracts and jobs into the community contribute to the total. Also making an economic impact on the region is the enhanced productivity of SCSU alumni who’ve benefited from education and training, a return that is repeated every year throughout their working lives.
The estimate was made by Paul Anton, chief economist for Wilder Research, a non-profit organization, in a study done for MnSCU.
Crowds for SCSU graduation ceremonies ever larger
For the first time in its 138-year history, SCSU will conduct two undergraduate commencement ceremonies at the end of spring semester.
The change is being made because the number of friends and family members who want to attend commencement ceremonies to show their pride when their loved ones graduate from SCSU has grown steadily over the years.
The thousands who want to attend can no longer comfortably fit into the university’s largest venue, the National Hockey Center (NHC). For several years SCSU was forced to hold down crowd size by giving graduation candidates a limited number of tickets. In spring 2006, for example, there was room for only 5,200 friends and family members of the more than 1,300 undergraduates who participated in commencement ceremonies.
This spring, tickets will not be needed, as half of the graduates will cross the stage during a 10 a.m. ceremony and half will participate at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 15. The NHC is expected to be full for each staging.
SCSU is still able to accommodate the 500-plus graduates and 4,000 guests who attend fall commencement. The University already has, for several years, conducted separate ceremonies for students earning their master’s degrees.
Winter Institue attracts renowned immigration experts
Immigration was the focus of the 45th annual St. Cloud State University Economic Education Winter Institute held in February.
Featured speakers were Richard Freeman, professor of economics at Harvard University and director of the Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Barry R. Chiswick, University of Illinois-Chicago distinguished professor and head of the economics department.
Freeman authored “Immigration and the Work Force: Economic Consequences for the United States” and “Immigration, Trade and the Labor Market.” Chiswick is recognized as having done the seminal research on the economics of immigration and remains a leader in the field.
The SCSU Center for Economic Education sponsors the institute for the benefit of students, educators, business and community leaders and the general public. The event is known for the expertise of its speakers. One of several national officials who spoke at a recent institute, for example, was Dr. Ben S. Bernanke, now Federal Reserve chairman.
Concert Choir treats Midwest to tour
The SCSU Concert Choir visited six communities in Minnesota, North Dakota and Canada during its 2007 Midwest Concert Tour March 20-25, which concluded with a performance in St. Cloud. Tour stops included Alexandria, Detroit Lakes, Hallock, Bemidji, Brainerd, Grand Forks, N.D., and Winnipeg, Canada.
One of five choral/vocal ensembles in the music program, the Concert Choir is an auditioned group of 75 singers, including music majors as well as students from various academic disciplines. It represents the University at important events, produces recordings and makes annual tours regionally, nationally and internationally. International venues have included Sweden, Norway, Bermuda, Mexico and the Czech Republic.
Over the years the choir has performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis and O’Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul.
Heart of the Matter
When Joanna Pucel ’74 advises her St. Cloud State University speech students that personal stories add credibility to their communication, she’s preaching what she practices. In her award-winning outreach efforts to combat America’s number one killer – heart disease – she reveals her own dramatic struggle with what too often is thought of as “a man’s disease.”
Last spring, when Pucel went to Washington with 14 Minnesotans for American Heart Association Congressional Lobby Day, she told her story, then asked for support for the Heart for Women Act, legislation aimed at increasing funding for research – especially on women’s heart disease.
Kathleen Mahon, a certified nurse practitioner and Women@Heart project coordinator at St. Cloud’s Central Minnesota Heart Center, was on that trip to the nation’s capitol. “When we met with our state’s representatives, Joanna talked about her own experience with heart disease, how it’s impacted her life,” Mahon said. “She was very important in conveying why there needs to be more funding for women and heart disease.”
The associate professor’s story is indeed compelling. By 1984 Pucel, who earned her SCSU degree in speech communication and is now teaching communication studies, had been showing signs of cardiac problems for five years, including arm tingling and shortness of breath. While she told her doctors of her symptoms, it wasn’t until she showed up sweating and having trouble breathing that doctors conducted a stress test – something Pucel said “just wasn’t done on women – especially young women.”
“Everything just stopped in that room, and the cardiologist said, ‘You’re a walking time bomb,’” Pucel said. “I would have been dead in a week.” Pucel was just 37. While at Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis for triple bypass surgery, doctors realized that she’d probably had her first silent heart attack at 25.
Those stunning events prompted Pucel to take a hard look at her family health history and her lifestyle – and began her quest to help boost resources and awareness for cardiac care, especially for women.
Her family history was a big piece in this new life puzzle. Pucel’s mother died at age 42, when Joanna was just two, and most of her aunts and uncles on her mother’s side of the family passed away in their late 30s and early 40s. However,it wasn’t until she confronted her own life-threatening situation that she understood the stark implications of those personal losses.
Pucel also discovered that the extent of ignorance about women’s risk of heart disease is huge. In reality it’s the leading cause of death for women in the U.S.
She is religious about diet and stress-reducing exercise to augment the strong regimen of pharmaceuticals that fight to keep her cholesterol at a reasonable level. She credits tennis with saving her life and gardening with helping to diminish the stress that’s a major contributor to her continuing struggle to stay healthy. Prevention magazine featured her with other health advocates in a 2001 article, “Win the Cholesterol War!” The section on Pucel talked about the effective strategy that helped her lower her cholesterol from 295 to 209.
Pucel also is a fervent volunteer for organizations and efforts to enhance cardiac care and awareness. One is the “Go Red Campaign” to gain recognition and funding for research on heart disease and women, which she has carried to the SCSU campus to increase awareness for faculty members, staff and students.
She also recognizes the dire need for understanding and supporting patients coping with heart disease. She initiated the St. Cloud chapter of Mended Hearts cardiac support group in 1985 and became its first president.
Her outreach has earned her a Minnesota Association of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehabilitation “Person of the Year” award and she is in the American Heart Association speakers bureau.
SCSU band director to conduct Tokyo wind ensemble
For the second time, Professor Richard K. Hansen has been named a principal conductor for the Musashino Academia Musicae Wind Ensemble of Tokyo, Japan. He will conduct the ensemble May 1 through July 20.
With 4,000 students, the celebrated ensemble is part of the world’s largest school of music. While with the select ensemble, Hansen will conduct a concert in the Tokyo Opera City Hall and a recording session.
Hansen is director of bands at SCSU, where he also teaches courses in conducting, the history of wind band literature and American music. Hansen has written a cultural history of the wind band, conducted university and honor bands in Denmark, Norway, Japan, Mexico and Russia, commissioned and conducted premieres of more than 30 works for wind band and conducted the Musashino Academia Musicae Wind Ensemble in 2001.
SCSU language educator honored
The Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures (MCTLC), a statewide organization of world language teachers from elementary through college levels, has named Professor Phyllis VanBuren the 2006 Emma Birkmaier Award recipient. The award is presented yearly in recognition of service and support for world languages and cultures by someone within the language teaching profession in Minnesota.
VanBuren, ’69 ’76, who teaches German and Spanish at St. Cloud State University, has been a College Board consultant, Advanced Placement reader and table leader in Spanish, and a member of the national advisory committee for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and of the Educational Testing Service/Praxis. Her name also has appeared in “Who’s Who in American Education” for more than a decade.
Language festival focusing on female artists
The 2007 Voicings Language Festival, a regional, multi-discipline language festival, will host two events in April as part of “Frontlines: Women Documentary Artists.”
Both events are open to the public at no cost.
New book is professor's sixth
A short story collection by Bill Meissner, SCSU professor of English, has been released by the University of Notre Dame Press.
“The Road to Cosmos” is a collection of short stories told through the eyes of a native son in the small town of Cosmos, Minn. Each story contains idiosyncratic characters who have unique ways of following their dreams.
Meissner also has had four books of poetry and another short story collection published. Four of the stories in “The Road to Cosmos” received the PEN/NEA Syndicated Fiction Award. Additional honors have included a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction for Fiction, a National Endowment for the Arts of Creative Writing Fellowship and a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship.
Meissner directs the SCSU creative writing program and conducts the week-long Mississippi River Creative Writers Workshop every year.
A sound alternative for 40 years
SCSU students, employees and alumni are inviting everyone to celebrate the 40th birthday of campus radio station KVSC-88.1 FM with an open house, special concerts, on-air alumni programs and other activities May 3-5.
KVSC (the call letters stand for “Voice of St. Cloud”) began operations as a 10-watt broadcast facility in May 1967. Today it’s at 16,500 watts, has a listening radius of about 70 miles and broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The station is run by students with funding from student activity fees, listener members, business underwriters and state grants.
The radio station offers progressive rock, jazz, folk, reggae, music from all parts of the globe, blues and Minnesota music and prides itself on providing access to the airwaves for local artists, several of whom have gone on to national success. KVSC news programming includes local, state and national news along with extensive coverage of SCSU Husky athletics.
In its role as “Your Sound Alternative,” the station’s slogan since 1983, KVSC has received acclaim from the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalism.
To join the celebration, visit www.stcloudstate.edu/kvsc for schedules.
Theatre program celebrating 50 great seasons
The St. Cloud State University Department of Theatre, Film Studies and Dance opened its 50th anniversary season in October 2006 with Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” and continued with three more “ambitious, challenging choices,” according to Assistant Professor Kate Sinnett.
“Godot” marked the Central Minnesota premiere of a cross-gender interpretation of a traditionally all-male production. Three of the six performances sold out.
William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” was the second golden anniversary offering, for which a record 60 actors auditioned. Some costumes were rented from the prestigious Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, but most were actually constructed on campus.
A professional “fight” choreographer from the Twin Cities was hired to help the actors achieve authenticity in their fencing scenes, and a public workshop on the art of stage combat added to the excitement surrounding the production.
In February the department presented “Into the Woods,” a story intertwining the lives of characters from a variety of familiar fairy tales. The season ends in April with Donald Margulies’ Pulitzer Prize-winning “Dinner with Friends.”
The department has listed 50 seasons of productions – 1956-57 to 2006-07 – at www.stcloudstate.edu/theatrefilmdance/theatre/archive.asp
Theatre L'Homme Dieu offers summer theatre at its best
Theatre L’Homme Dieu has offered SCSU students the magic of summer stock experience for 46 successful seasons on the banks of Lake L’Homme Dieu near Alexandria.
Students earn academic credits, mingle with professional actors and learn from SCSU Department of Theatre, Film Studies and
The theater, a partnership between SCSU and Alexandria community theater supporters, opened its first season in 1961 with a production of Philip King’s classic British farce, "See How They Run."
The summer theater campus – a former fishing camp built in the mid-1920s – includes seven buildings on 18 acres. Plays are performed in a cement block building that was hastily constructed prior to opening night that first summer. The theater’s sloping design and European-style seating allow a clear view from every seat.
During the inaugural 10-play season summer storms and torrential rains flooded the theater and damaged patrons’ vehicles. But nearly 10,500 people from 38 states saw the 1961 productions staged at Theatre L’Homme Dieu, beginning another tradition of excellence and opportunity for SCSU students.
Beyond the Rainbow
You Can’t Take it With You
Little Shop of Horrors
Details at www.tlhd.org
China Symposium - first step toward SCSU China Center
The university’s increasingly global focus was highlighted this spring by a first-time symposium on the political, educational, economic and cultural realities of China. The March 25-27 gathering of experts was developed to build community understanding and awareness of the country that 1.3 billion people call home.
China Symposium 2007 speakers included, among others, the editor of the Journal of Contemporary China, who is director of the University of Denver Center for China, and the executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office. Two prominent professors also presented, Dr. Richard Bohr from St. John’s University and Dr. Ted Farmer from the University of Minnesota.
During breakout sessions, faculty members and students with expertise on China from SCSU and other universities throughout the Midwest shared their work and research.
Designed to ignite a passion for China within the greater St. Cloud area, the symposium is being followed by development of a proposal for a China Center at SCSU, according to Assistant Professor Kathryn Johnson, special eduation, who is symposium director. The center will be dedicated to uniting and promoting China initiatives within higher education, K-12 programs and the business community.
Huskies to move Division II programs
During the 2006-07 season, SCSU committed to NCAA Division II and asked to join the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) in 2008 for its Division II programs.
The university’s association with the North Central Conference (NCC) will end following the 2007-08 season, when the conference disbands.
SCSU has enjoyed a competitive non-conference relationship with the NSIC, an emerging force in NCAA Division II. The Huskies have been NCC members in men’s and women’s athletics since the 1980s, winning since that time 28 conference championships in men’s sports and nine in women’s sports.
The SCSU men’s athletics department was a charter member of the Northern Intercollegiate Conference (NIC) in 1932.
The NCC is disbanding since four of its members – North Dakota State, South Dakota State, North Dakota and South Dakota – opted to go Division I.
In the ranks of Friends
When Jon Stein dropped out of SCSU in February 2003 for deployment to Saudi Arabia, he left behind a core group of friends who had been on the same timeline toward graduation. “But when I came back they were all gone,” Stein said of his college friends, who had graduated from SCSU while he was on duty. “It made campus kind of a lonely place.”
Stein made new friends, and received from SCSU the help he needed to get back into school. But he said the transition back to college would have been so much smoother had there been an easy way for him to connect with other students who’d been deployed in the Middle East.
Now there’s a place and a support mechanism for students like Stein: the regional Veterans Resource Center on campus. The office is one of six established by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs to help colleges and universities identify and remove barriers to veterans successfully completing college.
The centers are tasked with providing information, resources and referrals for veteran benefits, the G.I. Bill, psychological assistance and physical injury support. The objective is to help ease the transition to civilian life for people like the 3,000 veterans scheduled to return to Minnesota this summer.
Locating a regional center at SCSU is appropriate, as the University has the largest group – approximately 400 – of student-veterans of any college or university campus in the state. “I’m here for all of them, and for their families,” says James McAuley, coordinator for Central Minnesota colleges and universities. His credentials include five years as an Air Force mental health technician, a degree in social psychology and the experience of having worked on his degree while enlisted.
The Veterans Resource Center’s help negotiating the veteran benefits labyrinth is important for a successful transition from wartime military duty, says Julie Holewa, who spent a year in Iraq. “Having a place – one place – to go to get all your answers
Interaction with other student-veterans can also bring to light otherwise undiscovered benefits. For example, when Holewa came home, injured, in 2004, the military told her about some – but not all – of the benefits for which she qualified.
While in Iraq Holewa was in a heavy engineering unit that rebuilt roads, bridges, schools and infrastructure. “They blew it up, we built it again. We swept for mines, we couldn’t go off the roadways, no one went anywhere – anywhere – alone,” she recalled of her experience.
During his stint in Iraq, duty for Marine Corps dog handler Jesse McClure meant searching for explosives. It was a dangerous job, he admitted, but he doesn’t believe it was any worse than others. “There are no safe jobs over there.”
“You’re in a live or die situation for a year ... with the same people day and night ... when you come home you miss the camaraderie,” said Holewa. “Here (at the center) you can sit down, talk, reconnect with people,” people who know what you’re talking about.
“Veterans speak the same language,” said Stein, who acknowledged with a grin the military’s predilection for acronyms. With members of the military he can say TDY, PIF or AFOQT and they’ll have a pretty good idea that he’s talking about temporary duty, his personal information file and the Air Force officer qualification test. They also know, and understand, what he’s been through and the challenges he and his veteran classmates face upon their return to the States.
“Almost every veteran has some story,” said McClure when he described his own difficulties transitioning from deployment to college. Upon his return from Iraq he decided to use G.I. Bill benefits to return to SCSU. “I knew I wouldn’t just get a check in the mail,” McClure said, but he had no idea how frustrating the military red tape would be. With the help of SCSU staff he was able to file the correct forms and started school fall semester, but it wasn’t until mid-December that his first check came through. “If it hadn’t been for my family, I’d have dropped out of school and never come back. I couldn’t even pay my rent.”
Had there been a way to connect with other student-veterans, McClure said, they might have warned him that getting G.I. Bill benefits is an unnerving, time-consuming process. To facilitate such personal connections, he helped found and is now president of the SCSU Student Veterans Organization and is a strong advocate of the Veterans Service Center.
“Veterans are trained to be self-sufficient ... we’re trained to not ask for anything,” said McClure. With the new Veterans Resource Center, they can overcome that training and get the benefits they’ve earned.
St. Cloud State University student-athletes turned in an achievement-filled 2006-07 season:
Dream Young Dream Big
In the last 20 years Professor Robert C. Johnson’s math and science summer camps have provided life-altering experiences for more than 2,500 young people from minority, low-income and other demographic groups who traditionally have shied away from those fields.
“The key is opportunity for these kids to think about their future and help them know they have choices in life,” said Johnson, who recently was honored with a Minnesota Minority Education Partnership Award for his efforts to promote success for students of color.
“Johnson’s success,” according to the non-profit partnership, “is due to his understanding of the cultural uniqueness of each student – whether Latino, African American, Asian or American Indian – and his ability to draw on the natural hopes and dreams that exist in each culture to drive educational achievement.”
The on-campus summer programs reflect the “pipeline” concept, strategies aimed at young people who would not otherwise perceive themselves as college material. “These programs give kids an opportunity to consider higher education as tangible rather than abstract – that this is something they can do,” said Johnson, chair of the St. Cloud State University Department of Ethnic Studies.
The experiment has worked. Although the exact number of camp graduates is not known, Johnson said nearly 200 of his program participants have become students at SCSU – a third of those students of color – and hundreds of others have entered 60 different institutions of higher education. Those are pretty good numbers considering hundreds of camp alumni are still in elementary school.
Dennis Luke, a second-year student from Richfield, Minn., and a native of Sudan, chose SCSU as a result of his 2004 experience in the Scientific Discovery Program.
“I didn’t know much about St. Cloud State before coming to the program,” he said. “Dr. Johnson gave me an opportunity to experience something most kids don’t get to do.” Now he’s a pre-pharmacy major.
Johnson founded the Math-Science-Computer Camps
In partnership with the Urban Coalition of Minneapolis and with a small grant from the federal Eisenhower Title II Grant, a pilot project was started in the summer of 1987, targeting early elementary and junior high students. In following years campers would be in residence with their age groups on the SCSU campus for five days in June.
Participation by other SCSU faculty members, area public school teachers and college-age staff members enriches the program. John and Linda Peck, local environmentalists and educators, have opened their farm to younger campers nearly every summer, offering children who often have never been in a rural setting the chance to see first-hand how food is grown and animals are raised.
In 1991 Johnson’s successful program landed funding from national sources, including the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, to offer high school students a five-week residential program in scientific research. That was the foundation of the Scientific Discovery Program for 9th- and 10th-grade students, in which faculty members involved in research give participants college laboratory experience.
The 3M Foundation and Xcel Engery Foundation, among others, provide annual support of the programs.
The Advanced Program in Technology and Science was founded in 2000 to respond to the interest of students and parents in continuing summer programs through high school.
Nearly half the students in Johnson’s pipeline programs are identified as African or African-American; others include American Indian, Asian/Asian American, Latino, white and multiple heritage. Nearly
Parents report that the program leads to increased confidence, motivation and responsibility, improved grades and greater multicultural awareness.
“Our agenda is to provide an academic enrichment program,” Johnson said. “But the agenda of the kids coming here is to have fun and meet other kids. No matter how much they’re academically challenged, they’re having a good time, and that’s good. They benefit from associating with students from a wide variety of backgrounds.”
“It’s definitely a life-changing experience,” Johnson said. “That’s what we’re here for. St. Cloud State University as a public, state institution has a responsibility to society and to all the people in this state. We have a role to play in the development of human potential. It’s a short-term and long-term responsibility. This program is key to that mission.”
An excellent move
When gerontology graduate student Abby Smith receives her master’s degree in May, she’ll already have several years of experience working with older persons and developing ways to enhance their care.
Smith began her first part-time job at a nursing home in her hometown of Sumner, Iowa, at age 16. “Where I grew up you had a choice of working at the nursing home or the grocery store,” she said. She aided senior residents through high school and summers home from undergraduate studies at Clark College in Dubuque, Iowa. When it came time to select a graduate school, she explored the relatively few gerontology programs in the Midwest and settled on St. Cloud State University.
“I fell in love with the place, and coming to St. Cloud State has been an excellent move,” she said. Smith has benefited from invaluable leadership opportunities while working on her master’s degree, serving as a graduate assistant for the gerontology department, working part-time as a certified nursing assistant at a local nursing home and participating with faculty members in national professional meetings. She’s also been president of the Honor Society in Gerontology at SCSU.
Even more doors will open for Smith after serving a coveted four-month internship at the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, the educational arm of the Gerontological Society of America, this spring. She’s the only graduate student in the United States to be chosen for the honor. She’ll be attending public policy meetings in the nation’s capitol, assisting with staff projects and helping put together the conferences at which she presented as a student – a rare opportunity for those who are still preparing to take their place in the profession. “It offers me opportunities to network that I just couldn’t pass up,” Smith said.
In November Smith gave a poster presentation at the Gerontological Society of America’s 59th Annual Scientific Meeting in Dallas and impressed faculty members from around the country with her anecdotes and depth of experience. Her talk on “Developing a Dementia Training Manual: Outcomes of Intergenerational Service-Learning Project,” focused on a project she and four other gerontology graduate students in Community Studies Professor Rona Karasik’s “Aging and Community” class completed last year.
The project evolved after Good Shepherd Community in Sauk Rapids came to Karasik to request assistance with formal training for the staff of the senior facility’s newly opened Memory Cottages. The class toured the facility, then researched and created a dementia training manual that began with an overview of the complex condition and ways to deal with the day-to-day care-giving challenges it brings. The manual also includes a pre-test and post-test for staff to assess their own learning and dementia-appropriate activity ideas for staff and visitors tailored to the needs of current residents.
“The students learned a great deal from this project,” said Karasik, who regularly develops activities for her students to provide needed services to the community while enhancing their academic education with hands-on experience.
The Good Shepherd staff developed team spirit from the training, which included three two-hour sessions for discussing issues, asking questions and role playing. “They got a lot out of the program,” said Smith, who also interned at Good Shepherd and worked as a life enrichment coordinator there. “We’ve done so many things as a campus with that community. It’s been good for them and opened so many doors for me.”
Smith credits her graduate program and faculty members with providing students with exceptional educational experiences. “They really work with you on a personal basis, honing your skills,” she said. “They also do a good job of helping us make connections in the community.”
Smith intends to put her experience to good use as she continues her formal education. She wants to earn a doctorate in neuropsychology and teach in the field of gerontology.
Reflections on a Presidency
When Roy H. Saigo became the 21st president of St. Cloud State University in July 2000, he set a tone of inclusiveness, accountability and enhanced opportunity that has brought the University to what he believes is “a good place.”
A strong leadership team is in place, and the University is on a positive track to make a smooth transition to a new administration when President Saigo retires June 30.
Financial reserves have been restored through a campus-wide effort, strategic planning has been strengthened and better procedures have been instituted to collect, analyze and use internal data for such things as budget allocation.
President Saigo’s most outstanding legacy may be his encouragement of the global university concept. His vision of a campus that welcomes increasing numbers of international students and encourages universal study-abroad experience for students, faculty members and staff will have lasting implications.
“Our students graduate into a world with fewer boundaries and greater interaction with people from different cultural traditions and perspectives,” Saigo said. During the last two years of his tenure Saigo traveled to affirm and renew many existing agreements and to develop new ones with international partners. Currently 40 such partnerships are in place.
During the 2006-07 year the university’s international student enrollment increased to 959 students from 93 countries. That’s a 40 percent increase from the 1999-2000 year. In addition, each year about 450 domestic students participate in the university’s semester-long study abroad programs in 12 countries and several short-term programs abroad. A recent survey of faculty indicated nearly 50 percent had some international experience.
“Just imagine the great benefits that are derived from these exchanges,” Saigo said. SCSU is well on its way to becoming the “multicultural treasure” a national magazine dubbed it in a profile of President Saigo.
One of Saigo’s highest priorities from the beginning of his administration was to build an atmosphere of trust, respect and openness – a campus where communication and the open exchange of ideas were valued and practiced. “Civility,” “collegiality,” “respect” and “community” quickly became familiar words in Saigo’s communications.
With the hiring of a lead investigator to objectively look into potentially explosive issues, the settling of class action lawsuits and ongoing attention to the issues of equal pay for women faculty and anti-Semitism, and with a strong mediation program in place, the University significantly reduced the number of complaints and grievances in the past seven years.
Another important milestone was the commissioning of the Community Anti-Racism Education – CARE – Leadership Team to give campus and community members the means and tools to challenge and dismantle institutional racism.
During the Saigo administration significant progress was made in the recruiting and hiring of persons of color as students, faculty members and staff. From 1999 to 2006 enrollment of students of color more than doubled. During those seven years the number of employees who are persons of color increased by 36 percent.
“All around us in this shrinking world are people whose priorities and perspectives may be different from those in our familiar circle of family and friends,” Saigo said. “Changing attitudes and beliefs is difficult and frequently painful, but getting to know people on an individual basis is a strong foundation for understanding and respect.”
Colleagues note accomplishments of SAIGO presidency
“Over the years, President Roy Saigo has demonstrated strong leadership through conviction and willingness to build St. Cloud State University into an international institution. In today’s global economy, it’s critical for our St. Cloud businesses to hire employees who are global thinkers. Under his leadership, SCSU now offers many international programs that have made a positive difference in our community. Dr. Saigo is a respected leader who has provided outstanding civic contributions to our community.”
“I believe that many people are unaware of the tremendous impact Roy Saigo has had nationally regarding the American Indian mascot and logo issue. His historic presentation on the negative consequences of their use on indigenous communities pressured the NCAA to examine its role in condoning this form of racism in collegiate sports. Roy remains the only university president in the country who has shown the courageous leadership to publicly take a stand against the use of American Indian mascots, logos, and nicknames.”
“A president’s real impact cannot be known until after the torch has been passed and the university community and new president have confronted the institution anew. I suspect that today they will not find SCSU to be dominated by internal deficiencies that thwart mission achievement. Rather, I suspect they will find SCSU poised and ready to pursue a myriad of opportunities. Although many thought it impossible, that is the legacy we asked Roy Saigo to leave when we asked him to become president.”
"I was looking for a president who would take ownership of our school and steady the ship. I feel Roy Saigo has accomplished this. From my fellow classified staff I always hear respect and appreciation for Roy. He went out of his way to develop relationships with us. Roy will go down in SCSU history as a man who took on the hard issues and did not sidestep hard decisions. I personally thank him for his time with us."
"St. Cloud State University will always remember the skill and leadership qualities of Dr. Roy Saigo. Many of the difficult issues facing the university at the start of his administration were resolved and turned into opportunities. His enthusiasm for global education involved both SCSU students studying in foreign countries and bringing students from other countries to study and interact with SCSU students, supporting establishment of an international student/alumni environment."
"After 9-11 most U.S. universities saw a big drop in international enrollments. We actually have increased to almost 1,000 international students from 93 countries. With President Saigo’s encouragement, enthusiasm and leadership, we have developed new programs and exchanges and increased participation in our study-abroad programs. His vision of making SCSU a global university is a reality."
“For me, the truest measure of leadership quality in higher education is the degree to which conditions are created and sustained in which faculty, students and staff can do their best work – together. No single individual in any position can transform institutional culture. University presidents can and do, however, create the impetus for change, create the conditions in which change is possible and support students, faculty and staff in change efforts. President Saigo has modeled this kind of transformative leadership throughout his tenure. His confidence and loyalty to the internal constituencies of the University have made us far better than we might have been as scholars, as teachers, as public servants, as learners and, ultimately, as a university community.”
“President Saigo’s passion shone as I worked with him to develop and build support for the Atwood Center renovation and Student Recreation Center/stadium projects. His legacy, however, will go beyond the buildings and physical improvements he’s brought to SCSU; it will live on, rather, in the culture of collaboration and commitment to students he’s helped instill in people at all levels of SCSU.”
“Four years ago, Dr. Saigo made a bold decision to change St. Cloud State University’s identity ... by sanctioning and commissioning the Community Anti-Racism Education (CARE) Leadership Team. The anti-racism initiative has been a phenomenal approach to the issues of systemic racism in higher education and communities. Dr. Saigo’s strong support, commitment, insight, vision and leadership made possible what seemed impossible – faculty, administrators, students, staff and community members working together to dismantle institutional racism and to promote a welcoming environment for all people that is culturally competent, multicultural and anti-racist.”
“Soon after I started in 2003 President Saigo made it very clear it was an expectation of my office to increase our numbers of students of color. We made it a priority, and working with Multicultural Student Services and others on campus, we were able to achieve significant progress. I have never come across a president with such a genuine interest in increasing the numbers of students of color and international students on a campus.”
“President Saigo gave me the extra nudge I needed to get my bachelor’s degree. I had plans to finish my four-year degree when I first started working at St. Cloud State; however, during the first 18 years I had only completed one course. President Saigo strongly encouraged me to take at least one class a semester. He joked that he could not retire until I graduated – which I did the same semester he announced his retirement.”
“President Saigo helped St. Cloud State reach new levels of success. He continuously brought people and resources together to help the students succeed and made it a priority to create a community of learning and opportunity. He made it a priority to hear the student voice. Our interests and concerns were very important to him, and he used them as a link to raise the University to new standards.”
Timeline of Saigo presidency 2000-07
Ready to catch the next stage
John Stumpf ’76 has made tremendous leaps in the 34 years since he arrived at St. Cloud State with a suitcase and a box – a freshman from Pierz with such mediocre academic credentials he wasn’t sure he belonged in college.
Now Stumpf is president and chief operating officer – COO – of Wells Fargo, the fifth-largest financial services company in the country with more than 6,000 “stores” across North America. He’s
By the time Stumpf got his finance degree from St. Cloud State University, as part of the first class to graduate in the newly accredited college of business, he had evolved into an excellent student at the institution where, he said, “I learned how to learn.” He modestly credits others – family, friends, mentors – with giving him a lot of help along the way.
What Stumpf calls his “story of absolute good fortune” began when he was born the second of what would be 11 children to arrive within 13 years on the Stumpf family farm. There were so many children, he quips, “When the Stumpfs didn’t show up for band practice at school, they cancelled.”
Growing up, the older Stumpf children lived through years of financial hardship on the dairy farm and their parents searched out a way to augment their meager income. The answer came in a contract with the Jack Frost Co. and building a chicken barn to house 15,000 laying hens. That meant added chores for the Stumpf children, said Stumpf’s sister Jessie.
“It was a huge team effort,” said Jessie Stumpf, who’s just 11 months older than John and is now dean of business programs at Hennepin Technical College in Minneapolis. “Everyone had a job,” she said. “We learned the value of work, compromise and teamwork. We also grew up with this wonderful feeling about the importance of extended family and neighbors.”
Their mother, a nurse, and father provided the children with the right formula for life. “There was that model of education, of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and going on to find a way to conquer,” Jessie Stumpf said. “There was always an attitude of ‘we will find a way – we won’t sit back and see what’s going
That attitude helped John Stumpf take advantage of the opportunities that St. Cloud State offered, opportunities that became the gateway to success.
Stumpf remembers well driving to St. Cloud State for the first time in 1972 and moving into 712 Stearns Hall, on a campus with 10 times the population of his hometown.
“It was such a welcoming place,” he said. “You were made to feel like a person, not a number.”
Since he was provisionally accepted because of his less-than-stellar high school grades, Stumpf was advised to take just three classes – English composition, sociology and math. The first day of English class he was asked to write an essay on his summer vacation. The second day he was asked to stay after class. The instructor counseled him that a composition should have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. No one had ever told him that.
On the instructor’s advice, he got a tutor, and ended up with a B in English. In sociology his future brother-in-law helped him, and he got a C. In math a guy who lived on his floor tutored Stumpf and he got an A.
“That A was my first achievement,” Stumpf said. And that guy was Jack Kramer ’76, who soon became his roommate, lifelong friend and the person Stumpf refers to as “the smartest person on the planet.”
Kramer, a Minneapolis attorney who graduated with a degree in accounting, is just as complimentary of Stumpf. He recalls conversations with business associates from around the country who’d ask where he went to college, then tout their degrees from Harvard, Stanford and other Ivy League institutions. “When they’d say I must be the most successful guy to come out of St. Cloud State, I’d tell them I’m not even the most successful to come out of my dorm room ... that would be John Stumpf.”
Kramer is proud of his longtime friend’s phenomenal success at Wells Fargo. “Now he’s riding shotgun on the stage, and pretty soon he’s going to take the reins,” said Kramer, who joined the G.R. Herberger College of Business faculty three years ago.
“It’s just really special that he’s back at school teaching now,” Stumpf said of Kramer, his first real mentor, whose tutoring gave him the confidence to embrace the education that led him to national leadership in the banking world.
Stumpf would go on to get his first banking job with the First Bank System and earn his MBA in night classes at the University of Minnesota. With his advanced degree, Stumpf landed a position at Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis, which became Norwest Bank Minneapolis, N.A. He had steadily moved up to a group executive vice president when Norwest Corporation acquired Wells Fargo & Company of San Francisco in 1998.
But it was the nurturing environment at SCSU that Stumpf credits with “fertilizing” him to develop from a farm kid from Pierz into a highly respected financial services leader in San Francisco, where Wells Fargo has its corporate headquarters.
Besides classes, Stumpf’s college life included a work-study job in the audio-visual department and playing bass guitar in a rock band. He was active in the Society for Advancement of Management and the Accounting Club. Oh, yes, and foosball. He lived in the residence halls, until he married and moved to an off-campus apartment his senior year.
St. Cloud State, whose College of Business received Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation his senior year, had a tremendous impact on him, Stumpf said. “No one else would have taken me,” he said. “They gave me the opportunity.”
That environment, that sense of common purpose and sense of community, is similar to the culture he and Kovacevich are perpetuating at Wells Fargo. “He’s impressed upon me the value of large numbers of people going in the same direction,” Stumpf said. “We can disagree without being disagreeable. That’s the same feeling I had at St. Cloud State.”
Another part of the culture of Wells Fargo is what Stumpf calls “demystifying leadership,” which involves top executives finding ways to make themselves more human to the rest of the employees.
“I’ve done some of the craziest things,” Stumpf said. “I’ve been Sonny of Sonny and Cher, Elton John, John Lennon and a variety of other characters at annual sales meetings. Part of the culture is to have fun while we recognize team members who’ve excelled.”
Another common thread between the culture of SCSU and Wells Fargo, according to Stumpf, is a sense of connectivity, a sense of belonging. “I’m a big believer in guidelines vs. rules, values vs. phrases and giving individuals a way to know how what they do contributes to the whole,” he said. “I believe that’s why our company continues to excel. We’re 160,000 people with a common sense of purpose.”
Stumpf also credits SCSU’s campus with exposing him to the beauty of a diverse community for the first time. “In Pierz diversity was men and women. Everyone was German Catholic. At St. Cloud State I had my first exposure to people with diversity of religion, ethnicity, thoughts and lifestyle. It helped me understand and value differences.”
Best of all, SCSU gave him the ability to enjoy the pursuit of learning, he said. “I remember seeing a poster ... that reminded me how the goal of learning was not necessarily good grades. It was an ad for a flight training school that said, ‘We’re in the business of helping people learn how to fly safely – not just pass the test.’ ”
30 Years Accredited
On May 28, 1976, Dean James Marmas opened the letter informing him the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) had unanimously approved adding the St. Cloud State University College of Business to its prestigious – and very short – list of nationally accredited business programs. It was a landmark achievement for a school that just one year earlier was known as St. Cloud State College.
SCSU’s road to accreditation – a distinction shared in 1976 by only about 125 four-year business programs in the country – was paved with vision, teamwork and a bit of audacity. Only about four percent of the nation’s colleges and universities had earned AACSB accreditation, and the vast majority of those were large research institutions. The University of Minnesota (U of M) was the only other AACSB-accredited university in the state.
“It was a heady effort,” said Ken Schneider, professor of marketing and business law who came to SCSU in 1974 to teach and finish his dissertation for the doctorate he would earn from the U of M. “Professionally I was just a baby, and I intended to move on,” Schneider said. “I didn’t have a clue anyone here was dreaming such big dreams as AACSB accreditation. I would have thought it unrealistic that we would presuppose we could play ball with the big boys.”
That heady effort paid off, according to Schneider. “I certainly wouldn’t have stayed if we’d remained that sleepy little university.”
In the years leading up to accreditation, hurdles included getting the right mix of faculty with doctorates or other terminal degrees, revising the curriculum and raising the quality of students through tougher admissions standards to the business programs, said Marmas, who led the process of surmounting those hurdles. “There were numerous challenges to going for accreditation.”
“My objective was to turn ours into a top-notch business program,” Marmas said. Accreditation, first at the bachelor’s level and then the master’s level, was a major part of accomplishing that objective.
Accounting Professor Ron Carlson had been at SCSU three years when the AACSB granted approval for what he calls the “mark of quality” for business schools. He believes many in the program had considerable confidence in that quality throughout the process. “We probably thought we were that good,” he said.
Loren Viere ’76, who earned a degree in accounting and is now managing partner of Kern Dewenter Viere, St. Cloud, said when he decided to go to SCSU the accounting program already had a great reputation. “But the accreditation seemed like a big deal when I was applying for jobs,” he said. “It came up a lot in the interview process.”
Students in business programs knew the AACSB stamp of approval was important. “It was pretty exciting, as it brought another level of quality to the campus,” said management major Betty Kimbrough ’76, who went on to be a vice president of human resources for Target stores. “We could see that St. Cloud State was growing in prestige.”
“This was an important time for the college,” said Kevin Kopischke ’76, now president of Alexandria Technical College. “Standards were set high for AACSB accreditation. It helped build the school’s national reputation as one of the places in the Midwest where you can get a premier education.”
Even though the accrediting body expanded globally in the past decade, just 540 programs worldwide – 450 in the United States – are AACSB accredited. There are 1,400 four-year business programs in the United States.
St. Cloud State University’s college of business remains the flagship in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, Lawson said. The tradition of opportunity through affordable tuition and excellence is a global draw for the college. Fifteen percent of the graduate students are from other countries.
“We help fill the need for more applied master’s degrees that keep our state’s economy competitive and growing,” Lawson said. “The Maple Grove program is a good example of meeting this need.”
“Thirty years of accreditation gives us the experience to develop more innovative and quality programs,” Lawson said. “It puts us in a position where we can grow and develop programs to meet the needs of our graduates and the needs of business in the state
'76ers learned how to succeed in business
1976 graduates of St. Cloud State University’s business program saw dramatic changes during their student years, including an institutional name change from St. Cloud State College, a tremendous enrollment boom and national accreditation. The impressive list of those who earned business degrees that year includes CEOs, presidents, vice presidents, partners and entrepreneurs. The school that had long been known for producing excellent educators was fast becoming known as the place to go for first-class preparation to succeed in business.
Wells Fargo President and Chief Operating Officer John Stumpf is a high-profile example of notable 1976 business graduates. But the list includes hundreds more who went on to make their mark in various fields. Here are just a few outstanding examples:
John "Jack" Kramer started teaching full time in the G.R. Herberger College of Business after retiring three years ago from the Twin Cities law firm Dorsey & Whitney. "If I had known teaching here was going to be this much fun, I would have done it sooner," said Kramer, who brings stellar credentials to the faculty. His senior year he was named Outstanding Graduate in Accounting for the class of 1976 and earned the Harold C. Utley Award for scoring highest in the state that year on the CPA exam.
He went on to graduate second in his class from the University of Minnesota law school, and by age 30 the young man who grew up on a dairy farm in the Eden Valley/Watkins area was already a partner in Dorsey & Whitney, a firm of 600 attorneys where he practiced corporate and securities law. Kramer takes special pride in being a graduate of SCSU and of being hired by former Professor Robert Calhoun to teach at his alma mater. "Students who go to the Herberger College of Business have a great opportunity to acquire all the knowledge and skills to be successful in the business world," said Kramer, who commutes from Edina. "And if you’re planning on going to law school, this is a great place to go. I had better preparation for law school than students from other colleges. Professor Calhoun had already taught me much of what was being covered in law school."
Betty (Bailey) Kimbrough, McKinney, Texas, retired two years ago as vice president of human resources for all 1,300 Target stores. After earning her management degree, she was recruited into the IDS (currently American Express) management training program. She left when her husband Johnny, fellow ’76 graduate and star Husky football player, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills National Football League team. When the couple moved back to Minnesota a few years later, Betty entered human resources at Northwestern National Bank. She spent four years there before being recruited by Target in 1982. That was back when the chain had just a few hundred stores. While she and Johnny, who serves on the SCSU Foundation Board of Trustees, are enjoying retirement, she is considering a new career. "What’s really pulling at me now is the prospect of teaching at a community college," she said. "The part I miss most is working with students or people just starting in their careers, guiding young people."
Loren Viere came to SCSU to major in accounting. Now, as managing partner of St. Cloud accounting firm Kern Dewenter Viere, he is in a position to put other SCSU business graduates on the same road to success: 60 percent of his firm’s new hires are from SCSU. His part-time college job at Sears complemented his academic education with sales skills that helped him build his client list and market his firm. He and his wife Deb Bernard ’79 ’86 live in Sauk Rapids. Viere has run across many graduates from Harvard and other Ivy League schools. "It’s always amazed me how they recognize the name St. Cloud State. I got a great education there and moved into the real world well prepared."
Doug Wacek heads Union Mutual Fire Insurance Co. in Burlington, Vt., a 100-employee firm in a region he says is very much like Minnesota. The accounting graduate, who married fellow SCSU student Becky Rebstock ’73, was a CPA with a Minneapolis-based firm, worked for them in New York and was with a Burlington utility company before Vermont’s Republican governor named him commissioner of finance and management for the state. When that governor died in office, Democrat Howard Dean moved into the office and asked Wacek to stay on, which Wacek did until he became chief financial officer at Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company in 1994. He was named chief operating officer in 2001. "My education from St. Cloud State has served me well," Wacek said. He and Becky have season tickets to University of Vermont hockey so they still get a chance to see the Huskies play once a year.
Kevin Kopischke’s degree in distributive education eventually led him to the presidency of Alexandria Technical College, the school where he student taught 30 years ago and taught marketing and hospitality management the first 10 years of his career. After finishing his master’s degree in educational leadership and spending five years as a Brainerd Technical College vice president, the Morgan, Minn., native returned to ATC as an administrator and completed his doctorate in Educational Policy Administration. He was named president three years ago. As a top administrator, he appreciates that accreditation and high standards are critical in the academic world. "St. Cloud State has a reputation nationally of being one of the places in the Midwest where you can get a premier education."
Students who are members of an elite group at St. Cloud State University – the Husky Growth Fund – are also news junkies. Every day, the minute they wake up, they want to know what’s going on in the world. They’ll read The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post online, maybe check market news at SmartMoney.com and similar sites, skim the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) and Pioneer Press (St. Paul) and “tune in” to CSpan – all in order to stay on top of state, national and international developments that could have an impact on the stock market.
The news junkies work hard to stay abreast of the news and markets because they perform as security analysts, investment advisers and managers of an actual $100,000 portfolio, the Husky Growth Fund.
Investment funds are offered at many colleges and universities, but not all use real money, according to Assistant Professor Howard Bohnen, who has advised the group since its formation in 1999. Nearly all are run by graduate students rather than undergraduates, who are in charge at SCSU. And, most investment funds “run” by students give them research experience, but students are not allowed to trade stocks and all decisions are made by a governing board.
“We do it from top to bottom – research, buying, selling, all of it,” said Eric Winter ’06, St. Cloud. He has graduated from the group, but participates as a de facto member while working on his master’s in the SCSU economics program.
Husky Growth Fund members meet weekly to report on their research and make recommendations, then vote to decide which stocks they’ll buy and sell. They’ve made some smart decisions. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the mainland in 2005, for example, the group decided to invest in lumber, concrete, asphalt and other industries likely to prosper during recovery efforts. “Normally we’re a growth fund,” said Winter, “but when something like that happens, you can’t be stupid.”
The $100,000 the SCSU Foundation provided to establish the fund has gone up and down as the stock market has fluctuated and as students have made hundreds, if not thousands, of investment decisions.
“The goal of the fund is to teach, not to outperform the market,” said Bohnen. Nonetheless, during Winter’s senior year – a year when stock market performance was tepid – the Husky Growth Fund performed admirably. As Winter described it at the time: We’re smokin’ our benchmarks.”
To accomplish that, said fund alumnus Travis Deters, "you need a broad perspective on what’s going on in the world." Whether it’s upcoming elections, a tsunami, a war, a housing slump, changing interest rates or fluctuations in the oil market, said Winter, "Instability, any instability, makes markets nervous” and must be considered in making trading decisions.
As a result, “You have to do a lot of the critical thinking on your own,” said Deters ‘06, of St. Cloud, who was fund president before he graduated with a degree in economics in December. “It’s a whole different deal from reading a textbook.”
Husky Growth Fund members find that the best textbook of all is the media. “What happens out there affects the markets,” said Winter. “We work hard to understand what’s going on in the world, not just what’s on the 9 o’clock news.”
Talent search taps Husky Growth Fund
Whenever Doug Ringeisen ’03, Lakeville, hears of career opportunities at places like Lifetime Fitness, where he’s in charge of operations analysis, he points recruiters in the direction of the Husky Growth Fund. “These are people who are used to going above and beyond, solving problems, being passionate about what they do,” said Ringeisen. “That’s where I go to look for talent.”
Husky Growth Fund members are, in effect, pre-screened, Ringeisen noted. Junior and senior finance and accounting majors in the G.R. Herberger College of Business are eligible to go through a formal application and interview process, during which they have to demonstrate academic excellence and a strong understanding of financial markets. Applicants are evaluated by Assistant Professor Howard Bohnen, who has guided the Husky Growth Fund for many years, but also by fund members.
“They’re smart people,” Ringeisen said of the students who do the screening as well as those who make the cut. “And they’re determined to learn.”
Students in the 15-member group earn just three credits for three semesters of participation. “One semester in the Husky Growth Fund is probably more work than any other class they have,” said fund alumnus Ringeisen. “You are dealing with real dollars and you want to grow those dollars – so you have to be much more mindful in the decisions you make.”
Investing in careers while learning to invest
When Husky Growth Fund students enter the job market, they find it relatively easy to get recruiters’ attention. Fund graduates are of special interest to brokerages, asset management firms, trust companies and the like because they’ve done the real thing. “We’re the only 15 people recruiters see who have this kind of experience,” said Travis Deters ’06, of St. Cloud.
The experience is especially valuable, according to one alumnus of the group, because of Assistant Professor Howard Bohnen’s approach to advising them. “He’s like a coach,” said Deters, who recalls that members are given plenty of rope. “Go to work,” the professor would say. “I’m just here to make sure you don’t run off with the money.”
Bohnen lays low during group meetings (“It’s my job to keep my mouth shut”), but he speaks up when he has a chance to facilitate students’ move from college to careers. Said Deters: “At half of our meetings the professor says, ‘I got an e-mail, they want Husky Growth Fund people.’” It’s true, Bohnen said, recalling that more than once St. Cloud State University graduates have been up against candidates with Ivy League MBAs – but then the adviser gets a call. “Thanks for the recommendation – I got the job.”
“This is experience that sets you apart from the rest,” say Husky Growth Fund members. It’s experience some would not otherwise have. Deters grinned broadly when he was asked whether he invests in the stock market for himself. “I had to pay my way through school. No, I don’t have a portfolio of my own.”
When aviation students earn their diplomas, the public generally pictures them lifting off their careers with airlines like Northwest, American, Southwest or another commercial carrier. That’s not surprising, as most college aviation programs do, in fact, point students to exactly that career path.
Another career option – business aviation – receives less attention, with the result that few young people know about the career opportunities offered by businesses that have their own aircraft, flight crews, maintenance technicians and other aviation support.
At St. Cloud State University, aviation majors are prepared for commercial aviation, but they also are encouraged to think more broadly. Assistant Professor Tara Harl has, in fact, developed a unique student/industry partnership with corporations in the Twin Cities that literally opens hangar doors to students.
SCSU faculty members work with corporations to outline their project needs, all of which give students on-site lab time at corporate facilities as well as the benefit of mentoring, assessments and contacts. Student teams have tackled business aviation assignments on aircraft and organization mergers, on jet acquisition and on pilot succession and hiring. The teams wrap up their projects by presenting them to company management and their classmates, followed by mock corporate interviews for feedback and further mentoring.
The partnership program has given more than 100 SCSU students the chance to work on business aviation projects at 3M, Target, General Mills, Cargill and seven other large Minnesota businesses over the last four years. Businesspeople have been incredibly generous with their time and expertise, saying to students, in effect: “This is what our industry demands ... and, yes, you can make it with hard work – let me show you how!”
Aviation businesses are benefiting from the partnership, too. They can rely on SCSU students for on-site help when and where they need it, as well as a direct line to experienced graduates enthusiastic about business aviation as a career.
After Harl and industry partners like Dave Maib, head of Target’s corporate flight department, brought the partnership program to the attention of the National Business Aviation Association, the national organization decided to make the SCSU student/industry program a model for similar programs across the nation.
Kent Ramquist, former director of USBank flight operations, helped Harl design the program as a way of creating a pipeline that businesses like his could tap for well-prepared graduates.
Kevin Flood, a field service engineer with responsibility for about 200 Cessna aircraft in the Midwest and Canada, says he does himself a favor when he works with SCSU aviation students. “There has to be a strong pool of talent coming into the industry, and the quality has to be topnotch.” SCSU graduates come into the workforce, he says, “prepared to do the job.”
Flood credits the quality of the students’ training to the dedication of SCSU faculty members who could, he pointed out, earn more in the business world. “They’re not doing it for the money, they’re doing it for the kids,” he said. “How could you not respect people like that?”
Flood also gets a kick out of the students’ enthusiasm. “These kids live and breathe flying,” he said, recalling that as a teenager he had pictures of airplanes on his walls instead of pop star posters. It’s an attractive career choice: “You’re making your living on the wind.”
From SCSU to the Canadian Air Force
A long week of demonstrating her skills in a flight simulator, written tests, interviews and fitness tests ended happily for job applicant Melanie Pudsey ‘05. The SCSU aviation graduate is now an officer with the Canadian Air Force.
Pudsey, who lives in Ontario, Canada, began basic training last August. It will take two years to get her wings, after which she hopes to fly fighter jets and, eventually, perform with the Canadian Air Force’s Snowbirds aerobatic team.
The young woman came to SCSU on a full hockey scholarship, but also was a natural for the aviation program. Her grandfather was a fighter pilot in the Canadian Air Force and her father is a flying enthusiast (he bought his Cessna 172 from the SCSU Aero Club when students replaced it). A member of her family is a Canadian Air Force pilot and another is an air traffic controller.
Competition for the Canadian Air Force fighter pilot crew is stiff, as it is for the 85-pilot aerobatic team. But Pudsey honed her competitive skills as a four-year standout on the Husky hockey team, then as a player on Canada’s top female team, the Toronto Aeros.
At SCSU the aviation major had a tight schedule: she played Division I hockey for four years, worked at the campus greenhouse for two years, tutored students taking aviation courses and logged enough flying time to earn her pilot’s license, all in addition to regular coursework and typical college-student activities.
“Everything was something I really wanted to do,” Pudsey said of the demands on her time. But it was only because her professors cared and were flexible, she said, that she managed to do it all. Now she intends to do all it takes to become a Canadian Air Force fighter pilot.
On his way up the ladder
When aviation major Benjamin Quinn walked across the stage to receive his bachelor’s degree in spring 2005, there was no need to wonder what he’d do next. The young man had been hired – the day before commencement – by an aviation company with the world’s second-largest fleet.
“It was a nice little graduation present,” said Quinn, formerly of Westfield, Wis., now a technical marketing analyst with Netjets in Columbus, Ohio. The company, which has more than 600 aircraft in its fleet, sells fractional ownership in 14 types of jet aircraft ranging from the Hawker 400XP to the Boeing Business Jet. If you’d like 50 hours of flight time a year on “your own” jet, equipped with crew, the package is yours for $2.6 million.
If you’re thinking about the proposal and have aircraft performance questions, Quinn’s the man to call. As one of four Netjets technical marketing analysts he provides the technical information needed by sales and marketing, acts as a liaison between marketing and flight operations, and works directly with prospects to answer their questions.
“I’m lovin’ the job,” said the 25-year-old. Quinn also is one of just 25 businesspeople, the rest averaging 10-15 years of experience, from around the country chosen to participate in the MBA executive program at Ohio State University.
“The aviation world is like a small town – everyone seems to know everyone,” said Quinn, so the internship and networking opportunities initiated by SCSU aviation faculty members are invaluable. “Where else would I get the chance to connect with people who run flight departments at places like Target, General Mills and the Metropolitan Airports Commission?” Their help put him several steps up on the career ladder. Now he’s climbing on his own.
FOCUS: Teaching OUTLOOK: Global
A careful look at the qualities that distinguish St. Cloud State University from other universities has resulted in a new look for advertising and promotional materials.The education provided by SCSU reflects a global vision with growth in international students, study abroad programs and diversity curriculum. The University hasmany other positive attributes – it’s student-centered, facultymembers bring accredited programs to life, students areempowered to achieve success, honest dialogue is welcomedand it’s ideally located.
SCSU is working with Stamats, a national higher education marketing firm, to develop its messages and graphics. Among the elements being developed are print, television and theater advertising, direct mail, billboards, Admissions Office publications and a redesign of the Web site.
Alumni Award Winners
Twin Cities business leader honored with doctorate
SCSU alumnus Russell B. Hagen ’64 was presented with an honorary doctorate during fall semester commencement ceremonies Dec. 17. He, in turn, shared in a commencement address before 500 graduates and 4,000 guests some of what he’d learned in school and business.
Hagen is founder and chief executive of Data Recognition Corporation (DRC), provider of full-service information management for education, government and business. The honorary degree was bestowed upon him in recognition of his business accomplishments and his support of the G.R. Herberger College of Business. DRC made it possible for SCSU to offer its master’s in business administration program in the Twin Cities, where classes are taught at the company’s Maple Grove headquarters.
The commencement speaker admitted to the crowd that he had been a less than stellar student when he attended SCSU, recalling poor classroom “deportment” and low to middling grades. He said his education ended up being successful, however, because of understanding faculty members like Emeritus Professor Roland Vandell, 93, who was on hand to honor Hagen upon receiving his honorary doctorate. Vandell, Professor John Erickson, physical chemistry, and Professor John Laakso, organic chemistry, were among those whose understanding and support helped Hagen through the rough spots, he said.“I did not succeed on my own and I have come to believe that few do,” Hagen says.
During his last quarter at SCSU, Hagen took the first computer programming course offered by the University, in 1964, when students had access to a computer with a card reader/punch and 20,000 digits of memory.
That introduction sent him off in a new direction – a career in information technology.
Hagen shared some of what he’d learned in college as well as during his career. “Do not be afraid of making a mistake.” The worst mistake of all is not attempting something because you are afraid you will fail, he told the graduates. “Color outside the lines, take a risk, try something and fail,” Hagen said. “Then learn from it, change the process and try again.”
The alumnus also encouraged the new graduates to reach out. “Do something unexpected for someone else. . . . Make sure you allocate time and resources to contribute to the general welfare of the community in which you live and work. ... Find out how far you can go.”
One of NCAA's top honors bestowed on alumnus Ryan Koch
A year ago, outstanding SCSU student-athlete Ryan Koch ’06 was featured in Outlook in a story titled “Mission Accomplished.” This spring the “mission” continues with Koch, the graduate, continuing to garner awards for his accomplishments in both academics and athletics.
In January Koch received the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Today’s Top VIII Award, which honors student-athletes who have brought distinction to themselves, their institutions and intercollegiate athletics, one of the highest honors given to NCAA student-athletes. Koch was one of eight, and the only NCAA Division II student-athlete to be honored.
Also in January, Koch received the Woody Hayes National Scholar Athlete Award, given annually to the outstanding man and woman in each of the three collegiate divisions in all sports. Koch is the third Husky to receive the award. Former quarterback Keith Heckendorf ’04 won the award in 2003, followed by football and track and field standout Jason Koch ’04 (Ryan’s older brother) in 2005.
“Both of these awards really gain their value, I think, in that they recognize individuals not only for what they’ve done on the field and in the classroom, but for what they’ve done to better the community that supported them throughout their college careers,” said Koch, who was an active volunteer while at SCSU. “These awards ... represent much more than any All-Conference or All-American award really ever could.”
The two awards cap a long list of outstanding achievements during Koch’s tenure at SCSU. Additional national awards include the 2006 Division II Conference Commissioners Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2006 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Award (track and field), 2005 Draddy Trophy Finalist (considered the academic Heisman) and a 2005 National Football Foundation Scholarship of $18,000.
Ryan and his brother Jason are the first siblings to win the Woody Hayes Scholar Athlete Award. “I’m probably more proud of receiving the Woody Hayes Award than any other because of what it means to my entire family,” said Koch, as it highlights “the support of our parents in becoming who we are today.”
Koch majored in computer science and minored in Spanish.
What’s ahead for Koch? He said he is looking for his niche in the business world and continues to train, as the Arena Football League is still a possibility. “And, eventually I’ll put to use the postgraduate scholarship money that I was very blessed to receive.” Koch’s ultimate goal is to start a camp for underprivileged children and extend the humanitarianism his awards highlight.
“I know that I am much better prepared to achieve my goals after spending my time at St. Cloud State. I owe so much to my teammates, coaches, professors and the University as a whole.”
Leaving a legacy to SCSU
As a student at St. Cloud State Teachers College, Jack Smith ’52 took advantage of opportunities and experiences the campus offered veterans like him. Now he and his wife, Phyllis, have arranged for others to achieve their potential through a generous bequest to fund graduate fellowships and faculty development.
Smith majored in speech with a concentration in speech correction.
“The education I received at St. Cloud State laid a good foundation for life as well as the profession I’ve enjoyed,” Smith said. “Even after receiving my degree from St. Cloud I would occasionally meet my former professor, Dr. Thomas Abbot, at national ASHA (American Speech and Hearing Association) conventions.”
Smith went on to become a certified speech therapist, earned his master’s degree, then joined the faculty of Towson State University in Maryland, where he was in charge of speech pathology, including the lab school. Jack and Phyllis concluded their lengthy careers in higher education at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, after which they retired to Tucson, Ariz.
“My wife and I were both educators at the college level, so we realize the importance of a college education for those who have the interest, motivation and ability but may need some financial help,” Smith said.
“Like many veterans, I would not have been able to go to college without the G.I. Bill,” said Smith, who grew up in Crookston, Minn. “All of the advanced education Phyllis and I had came through graduate assistantships. We would like to see others benefit from what we were able to accomplish.
“Today the cost of a college education has escalated, making it difficult for some students to further their advanced degrees,” Smith said. “At the same time funds for assistantships have dwindled.
“We also see a need to support faculty members in their efforts to enhance their education through conferences, workshops, short courses and the like,” he said. “Consequently the endowment to the University is for faculty support as well as financial assistance at the graduate level for students majoring in communication sciences and disorders. During the past few years we’ve maintained a close relationship with the faculty of that department and we are impressed with what they are accomplishing professionally.”
Past Times ... Eastman Hall
Eastman Hall’s dedication was the kick-off event for 1930 homecoming festivities at St. Cloud State Teachers College. After speeches, the crowd marched to J.C. Brown Athletic Field for the annual bonfire. More than 300 couples inaugurated the new Eastman gym with a lively homecoming dance.
The campus had long recognized that while expanding the mind is important to academic success, so is exercising the body. Twice state lawmakers had turned down requests for a physical education building, but in 1928 the Legislature came through with $225,000. The new hall ushered in an era of enhanced physical activity and a new intramural sports program.
The hall was named for Alvah Eastman, twice-appointed resident director on the State Normal School Board. He had been editor and owner of the St. Cloud Journal Press; when that paper was merged with the St. Cloud Daily Times, he continued as editor, delivering what he dubbed “Weekly Sermons” in print. The 1929 Talahi yearbook was dedicated to Eastman: “In Alvah Eastman, the St. Cloud State Teachers College has a Resident Director who is tolerant of its shortcomings and optimistic about its future; who is genuinely devoted to all its students and faculty members; who is loyal to its best interests and eager to do its service. ...”
Eastman established student scholarship funds named for daughter Katherine and wife Alice, donated some of the land for Selke Field and willed his home to SCSU. It was used as a student center, dormitory and nursery school during the 1940s and 1950s.
Celebrating 125 years of support
With St. Cloud’s Normal School just a dozen years old and only 175 graduates to its name, more than 100 graduates and friends enjoyed beef tongue with apple jelly, corned beef, lamb, oyster soup and sponge cake, among other delicacies of the day, during a banquet marking the founding of the SCSU Alumni Association. For 125 years, the Association has linked the University and its graduates in many ways.
The first alumni directory was produced for less than $30 in 1907. Today, the Alumni Association directory serves our 90,000 graduates online (www.stcloudstate.edu/alumni). The first alumni newsletter, predecessor to Outlook, was published in 1948 by alumni board volunteers. The Distinguished Alumni Award was initiated in 1963 – that tradition of honoring alumni achievements and service at Homecoming continues today. In 1983, the Vanguard Program was begun by the alumni office to greet campus visitors; today, volunteer students perform that function. Reflecting the university’s increasingly global focus, the first international alumni chapter was formed in Malaysia in 1997. One of the Alumni Association’s newest programs is alumni mentoring, which brings alumni together with students to help them make career decisions and network.
Congratulations to the Alumni Association on 125 years and a continuing commitment to lifelong relationships between SCSU and its graduates! Membership is free. Take advantage, and get involved today.
Sisters Grace Marie and Abigail Theresa (left) sit nicely for the camera in their Husky Pup t-shirts.
Samuel David (right) happily finds himself planted in Huskyinspired surroundings, the doings of his parents, ’99 graduates Melanie (Klinkhammer) and Dan Torgerson.