Fragments of our Past
Student archaeologists unearth tangible links on Shoemaker dig. Participants in an archaeological dig spread over the front yard of Shoemaker Hall this past summer made significant discoveries beyond the artifacts they unearthed.
Animal lover finds perfect internship
She offers to show you photographs of her “babies.” When you say yes, she pulls out a packet of glossy color prints and hands them over one at a time. “This is Rio. Isn’t she gorgeous? Look at that face.” She can barely contain her excitement as she admires the photo of her 32-year-old, 480-pound precious darling.
“She” is biology major Jessica Peterschick, who spent spring semester as an intern at the Minnesota Zoo. That’s where she met and fell in love with Rio and Spree, 175 pounds and 20 months old. “She’s my baby. She’s so much fun, you have no idea!”
Peterschick enjoyed her experience and her new friends so much that she had her internship extended an extra month and has since returned to the zoo as a volunteer.
It’s the dolphin exhibit that has her so excited.
Jessica’s job at the zoo included food preparation and husbandry behaviors such as getting blood, fecal and gastric samples, giving vitamins, and applying medication for skin problems. Food preparation included feeding each dolphin 10-35 pounds of fish a day over four or five feedings. For Spree, Jessica cut up the food and fed her by hand “because she’s just a baby.”
The bulk of the intern’s time went to the dolphins’ enrichment program: playing, pampering, spending time with them, anything to make their daily lives more interesting and “make them think more.”
“I’ve loved animals since I was born,” Jessica said. “I was just one of those girls who, if there was a turtle on the road, I’d hop out and guide it back.”
Jessica is determined to make a career of working with marine mammals in training, research, conservation or rehabilitation. When that becomes a reality, she’ll be thanking her adviser, Professor Matt Julius. “Not only is he a great teacher, but as an adviser he wants to set you up so you have a good platform outside of school,” said Jessica. “He works soooo hard to help you find a career.”
For now, the native of Randall, Minn., is feeding her soul with her volunteer work at the zoo. Jessica’s ultimate goal? “To save the rainforest,” she said grandly, with a big smile. “Or at least some part of it — like the animals.”
New nursing program earns national accreditation
The charter class of 20 nursing students who received their baccalaureate degrees on May 9 had the honor of graduating from a program that meets the highest national standards. Their bragging rights are the result of full accreditation of the SCSU Department of Nursing Science by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The department's accreditation is for the maximum possible period, five years. Department chair Susan J. Warner pointed out that the "prestigious, national accreditation is the highest mark of excellence a department can receive." Accreditation is not required, but successful completion of the voluntary quality review process is universally recognized by the healthcare industry.
It is anticipated that another 33 nursing students will earn their degrees next spring, bringing to 53 the number of SCSU graduates who will help alleviate the acute shortage of nurses in central and rural Minnesota.
SCSU developed the baccalaureate nursing program in cooperation with the greater
community, including St. Cloud Hospital, HealthPartners, Veterans
Children’s art catches the eye of travelers
In the first exhibit of its kind, 10 St. Cloud children are having their artwork displayed for a year at the St. Cloud Regional Airport.
The project is unique. Most airport art is produced by an established artist or museum in the community, but the “Kids Color St. Cloud” artwork was created entirely by children in grades K-4. The SCSU student chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives led the community service project. One-hundred twenty students competed for the opportunity to have their work displayed.
The aviation program at SCSU is the only four-year accredited bachelor of science aviation degree in Minnesota. Degree-seekers are offered a choice of study in three areas to prepare them for professional careers in the aviation industry: professional flight, aviation management, and aviation operators.
For your viewing pleasure
Again this summer, 240 of the nation’s top 15-year-old hockey players were at the SCSU National Hockey Center to participate in the USA Hockey annual Boys National Select 15 Festival. The Boys National Select 17 Camp, for 240 17-year-olds from all over the nation, was also held at the National Hockey Center, which is an official USA Hockey training center.
The festivals attracted hockey scouts who evaluated the players for professional, college and junior league teams. All practices and competitions during the weeklong event were open to the public at no cost.
In addition to 480 of the nation’s best hockey players, the two camps brought to campus as many as 400 scouts, 120 coaches and other staff, television, magazine and newspaper reporters, and parents who flew to Minnesota to watch their teens play.
The hockey players and staff were housed in SCSU residence halls. SCSU also worked with the St. Cloud Convention and Visitors Bureau to make motel arrangements for scouts, reporters, and families, with an approximate total of 1,200 rooms rented during the two camps.
The festivals are two examples of how SCSU uses its facilities for the benefit of the community and to generate income for the university:
SCSU program unique in the world
The Department of Educational Leadership and Community Psychology in the SCSU College of Education initiated the world's first behavior analysis online master's program three years ago. Today, 70 students from California and New Jersey to Canada and the United Kingdom are enrolled.
The program has generated interest around the world because students can earn a behavior analysis master's degree – start to finish – without leaving their home communities or jobs.
Program graduates work in such areas as autism, self-injurious behavior, developmental disabilities, fetal alcohol syndrome, staff training and development, gerontology, organizational performance management, behavioral safety, chemical dependency, traumatic brain injury, even animal and pet training. "There is a huge need for well-trained staff" in the discipline, said Dr. Kim Schulze, program coordinator. SCSU has had a traditional behavior analysis program for more than 20 years.
Faculty, staff awarded $9 million in grants to benefit community
SCSU faculty and staff generated more than $9 million in external grants and contracts during the past year to enhance research, learning, creative activities, and public service on campus and within the broader community.
University colleagues — working with partners from education, government,
business/industry, and philanthropy — used those dollars to respond to
For more information, call the Office of Sponsored Programs, 320-308-4932.
Creative writing workshop attracts skilled practitioners
Once again, the Mississippi River Creative Writing Workshop in Poetry and Fiction attracted some well known writers and poets. Among the notables who participated in the annual one-week workshop in May were:
The workshop, hosted by SCSU for more than 30 years, is sponsored by the SCSU Creative Writing Program.
Campus goes wireless
When students returned to campus for classes this fall, they found that it's even easier to access the Internet and university resources such as e-mail and network files. A new network has made nearly every academic and administrative building and some common areas of residence halls wireless.
Students continue to have regular "wired" access to the same resources from all dorm rooms, the library and all computer labs on campus.
The wireless network was partially funded with technology fees students pay with tuition.
Faculty members voicing plans for language festival
Plans are now being made by university faculty members for the first-ever regional, multi-disciplinary arts literature festival on language issues at SCSU.
"Voicings," a festival exploring the multiple shapes and forms of language, will be held April 7-8, 2005. Headlining the event will be internationally recognized poet and sound artist Chris Mann presenting the American premiere of a new piece commissioned by the Berliner Festspiele. Another headliner is the band Zeitgeist, a regional contemporary music favorite.
New and experimental uses and views of language and presentation methods will be part of the combination arts festival and scholarly symposium. An exhibition of collaborative work on the quality of women's healthcare as expressed in art is another feature of the festival. The exhibit will include paintings that incorporate popular culture, folk art and creative writing.
Cruise with the sun in your face, pride on your plate
Now you can flaunt your pride in SCSU and support scholarships for students whenever you’re on the road.
Apply for or renew the license plate for your passenger vehicle, pay a $10 fee, and make a minimum $25 contribution. In return, you’ll receive SCSU plates and your contribution will go into the SCSU scholarship fund. You do not need to be an alumnus of SCSU to choose the special plate.
To order your SCSU plates, visit the Minnesota Division of Motor Vehicles web site at www.dps.state.mn.us/dvs and choose vehicle info, special plates, then specialty plates.
Workshop focused on children’s literature attracts notables to mark silver anniversary
A burst of enthusiasm about the upcoming school year is the result, say those who attend, of the Children’s Literature Workshop hosted every summer by the SCSU Center for Information Media. For a quarter century, the workshop has attracted 150-200 classroom teachers, library media specialists and children’s librarians from a four-state area who learn from nationally known authors and illustrators as well as SCSU professionals with expertise in children’s books.
The 25th anniversary workshop on June 14-15 included keynote presentations by two people who are well-known in the world of children’s books.
Brian Selznick illustrated the 2002 Caldecott Honor Book, “The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins.” He has won considerable national acclaim for “The Houdini Box” and “Boy of a Thousand Faces,” which he wrote and illustrated, and for his illustrations for books such as “When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson,” “The Doll People,” and “Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride.”
Minnesota author Marsha Qualey has won two Minnesota Book Awards and was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for the Edgar Award for her book, “Thin Ice.” Qualey’s other young adult novels include “One Night” and “Close to a Killer.”
In addition to keynote addresses, the annual workshops feature small-group presentations, sessions on the best new children’s books, and storytelling.
SCSU center keeps eyes on the road and hands on the wheel
The university's Highway Safety and Research Center has a terrific safety record.
By training more than 1,200 construction truck operators, the Minnesota High Safety & Research Center (MHSRC) has lowered road construction site accidents in the state by nearly 50 percent. The center did the work for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Minnesota State Patrol, and a number of highway construction companies.
"We know that we've saved some lives," say MHSRC staff.
Last year, the center also trained 20,000 drivers over the age of 55 and nearly 2,000 police, ambulance and other emergency service providers. Some instruction is provided by a statewide network of 50 instructors, but all behind-the-wheel training is done at the MHSRC training course just east of St. Cloud.
The center's clients include the Minnesota Department of Transportation and more than 80 law enforcement agencies.
Students’ First Amendment Forum addresses news, ethics, privacy
The mothers of Dru Sjodin and Jacob Wetterling – parents thrown into the national spotlight under tragic circumstances – were at SCSU this spring to discuss media issues raised by the disappearance of their children. The women were keynote speakers for the annual student-sponsored First Amendment Forum.
Patty Wetterling and Linda Walker joined others for a discussion of news, ethics, and privacy. With them were a Rocori High School official and a friend of missing Saint John's University student Josh Guimond.
Journalists who covered the tragedies shared their experiences during the forum, called "Tears & Tragedy: Crisis Journalism – Minnesota Style." They represented the Star Tribune, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, St. Cloud Times, and KMSP-TV. The day concluded with a journalism workshop on covering major crime stories at the local level.
New! Improved! Campus center readied for fall semester
Atwood Memorial Center — at the center of campus and the center of campus life — was bigger and better when classes resumed this fall.
SCSU students had earlier authorized remodeling some areas of the center and adding 15,900 square feet of space. The $5.1 million project is funded by a student-approved bond issue that will be repaid with student user fees.
Students sent five representatives to participate with faculty and staff in all design and bidding decisions for work on the Center. The students who joined the committee stayed with the project from start to finish, to the astonishment of GLT Architects. It’s been their experience that students on a building committee show up for one meeting, they said, “and you never see them again.”
Accessibility and connection were important to the project’s planners. “The students ... wanted it to be a window to the campus,” said Atwood Director Margaret Vos. The architects’ use of considerable glass has resulted in panoramic views of the west side of campus as well as downtown St. Cloud.
The “new, improved” Atwood Memorial Center will be formally introduced to the community with a special event later this fall.
The 13,000-14,000 people who come through the Atwood Memorial Center each weekday can be pleased with the results, said Vos. “Under budget. On time. And everything we hoped for!” The campus community and visitors are finding the following changes:
Professor develops first-of-its-kind conference on bullying
Special education professor Dr. John Hoover, a nationally known expert on bullying, took the lead and developed a national conference on the subject. “Bye-Bye Bullies” was held in Anchorage, Alaska, early this summer.
It was the first conference of its kind in the nation, according to the organizer.
Among the 10 speakers were an educator interested in the relationship between depression and bullying; a trainer for the Norwegian Ministry of Education anti-bullying program; and the author of “Bully Busters” and “Bully Busters in the Elementary School.“
Hoover has published three books on bullying. His particular interests are student perceptions of victimization, bullying and risk behavior, and bullying in rural schools. Hoover chairs the Department of Special Education at SCSU, his alma mater.
Students, faculty find marrow and blood stem cell donors
Communication studies students and faculty honored one of their own with their annual marrow and blood stem cell donor registration drive this spring. The event was formally named after former SCSU professor Daun Kendig, who lost her battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after a marrow transplant several years ago.
Kendig, a communication studies professor for 20 years, was the inspiration to start the drive at SCSU four years ago. Although she did not survive, the marrow transplant she received gave her one more year with her family.
The professor found a donor through the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), which maintains a registry of 5 million potential donors. Marrow and blood stem cell transplants are the only real help for such diseases as leukemia, anemia and lymphoma, as well as immune system and genetic disorders, according to the NMDP.
Said Diana Rehling, faculty chair of the drive: “We organized our first drive as a thank you for the registry being there when our colleague and professor needed it.”
Approximately 600 volunteers have registered as potential donors during the four SCSU drives.
SCSU triple-hitter alumni win two in a row
For the second year in a row, a triple SCSU alumnus has been named Minnesota's National Distinguished Principal. The award recognizes elementary and middle school principals for exceptional leadership in determining the quality and character of education children receive during the early school years.
Wendie Moore Anderson, principal of Trailview School in Mora, Minn., took the 2004 honor bestowed by the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the U.S. Department of Education.
Anderson graduated from SCSU in 1972; after her children were raised she returned to SCSU to complete her master's and sixth-year degrees in educational administration. She had taught elementary school for 27 years before joining Trailview School as principal.
James R. Hoogheem, also a triple alumnus of SCSU, won the 2003 Minnesota National Distinguished Principal of the Year honor. He has been principal of the Fernbrook Elementary School in Maple Grove (Osseo Area Schools) since 1988.
The SCSU College of Education is the 12th largest producer of teachers in the nation.
Coming to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year ... UTVS
UTVS News, which is broadcast by the SCSU campus television station, is one of three university programs from across the nation selected as a semi-finalist for a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
The National Mark of Excellence Award is given to the college or university station with the best student-produced television news nationwide. The UTVS (University Television Station) Daily Newscast is competing for the honor against the University of Maryland, which has 35,000 students, and Kent State University, which has 31,000 students in its eight-campus system.
"This is quite the honor," says fourth-year student and UTVS general manager Josh Miller, pointing out that nearly every one of the nation's 3,500 colleges and universities has a television news program of some kind. UTVS has won five Mark of Excellence Awards in the past for its news programs.
UTVS, which was founded during the 1977-78 school year, cablecasts local news and other programming to 90,000 people in Central Minnesota 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The independently-operated station is completely student run, from camera operators to station management, which gives SCSU students the opportunity to learn and participate in all aspects of television production.
Miller, who begins his fourth year at the station this fall, said the UTVS experience is open to every student. Eighty students were on the volunteer staff spring semester, and participation increases every semester. They bring to viewers their own programs (newscasts, movie reviews, a trivia game show, Monday Night Live with KVSC, and home Husky hockey games) as well as cable entertainment, education and arts programming.
Miller said freshmen frequently visit UTVS immediately upon arrival at SCSU, eager to sign on for hands-on experience at the station. "I came here (SCSU) for this," they tell Miller. "Why wait?" SCSU offers the only fully-accredited broadcast journalism program in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
He’s strong, he’s sensitive he’s Brawny Man!
Michele Thompson, ’99, sent in the photo and nomination essay that resulted in husband Joshua Thompson, ’98, winning the national “Make Over My Brawny Man” contest.
According to the press release announcing the winner of the nationwide “Make
Over My Brawny Man” contest: “He’s strong and gentle, he’s
a beloved family man,
“He” is Joshua Thompson, a 1997 criminal justice graduate whose wife of five years, Michele (Raitz), who graduated with a recreation major in 1999, created the winning photo and essay that 5,000 online voters thought embodied the characteristics the Brawny paper towel company wanted in its Brawny Man representative: strong, with a sensitive side.
“My wife did a great job with the entry,” said Josh, who met Michele when she was a freshman and he a junior. “I give her all the credit.” But while he knew she’d compiled a great nomination package, he was still surprised that “a guy from small-town Minnesota could win.”
But win he did, and the couple were flown to New York to be wined and dined for three days. Josh was treated to a makeover orchestrated by television style maven Melissa Rivers. Advertising feature spreads in September issues of Cosmopolitan, Redbook, O, and Good Housekeeping magazines showed off Josh’s new look.
Josh said some of his new outfits and styled hair seem a little out of character for a police officer from Rochester, but he admits the new Kenneth Cole designer clothes make him feel more confident.
The change attracted an almost embarrassing amount of attention at first, said the father of two sons under age 2. “Yeah, all the guys at work gave me a pretty hard time,” said Josh.
Michele, an audiology assistant at Mayo Clinic, was more than pleased with the results of her efforts to honor her brawny man and polish his appearance. “He’s hot,” was her first comment when Josh emerged from his makeover.
“My Brawny Man protects the city of Rochester ( Minnesota) by night and his family by day. He took an oath to keep neighborhoods safe, putting in 50-plus hours a week arresting and testifying. His ‘clients’ see his tough side as he enforces the law, while we see a fun-loving father and husband. With a newborn and a 11/2-year-old, his days off are busy, too: changing diapers, reading books and playing. Josh is a wonderful police officer, but the side nobody else sees is that same strong man singing ‘Hush Little Baby’ in a rocker with two little boys.”
Herb Brooks Way - Street renamed to honor hockey legend
"The late, legendary hockey coach" is the phrase oftentimes used when talking about Herb Brooks, who during his career had an influence on all levels of hockey, from amateur to professional and from local to international.
Brooks led the U.S. men's hockey team to a gold medal in the 1980 Olympics, coached the SCSU men's hockey team in 1986-87, helped SCSU achieve Division I hockey status, and was one of the leaders of the effort to secure funding to build the National Hockey Center.
"There is no single way to honor Herb that could truly reflect his incredible impact on SCSU hockey," said SCSU Athletic Director Morris Kurtz when he asked the St. Cloud City Council to change the name of part of a city street to " Herb Brooks Way." Nonetheless, said Kurtz, renaming the portion of 13th Street that fronts the National Hockey Center at least helps recognize the coach's contributions to SCSU hockey and the community of St. Cloud.
The new signs were posted this summer.
Small Details Big Clues
Students discover clues to past, future in archaeological dig
Participants in an archaeological dig spread over the front yard of Shoemaker Hall this past summer made significant discoveries beyond the artifacts they unearthed. For 19 students of Debra Gold’s archaeology field school class, life lessons emerged from the soil along with a Civil War-era button and bits of decades-old pottery and glass.
The dig site, with precisely measured and cut excavation units across the expansive lawn, offered clues to what life was like in a home whose only other proof of existence is a tiny rectangle on an 1869 map. For students, working the site also yielded clues to the skills and traits it takes to succeed in the increasingly popular field of archaeology.
“I learned I need to be patient, organized, and a good team player with the people I work with every day,” said Amy Adams, who spent the summer session working side by side with a single partner, day after day in the dirt of one of 16 meter-square excavation units. Now she wants to travel and do field work with private companies after she graduates.
“You don’t know when you start in the morning what’s going to come your way,” Gold said of the repetitive process of sifting through soil from a square hole in the ground. “That Civil War button was an important find – but right next to it was a 1981 penny. It’s interesting to see how students adjust to that.”
The ups and downs, from the exhilarating to the tedious, are good preparation for life, Gold said. “It’s a good day when you find anything.”
The experience gives these students an idea of what a workday is – and isn’t – like for an archaeology professional. It’s not all Indiana Jones – not by a long shot. But the meticulous process and the constant possibility of discovery can be tantalizing. The search for the little details that reveal big clues is not unlike the fascinating techniques forensic detectives follow as they examine a crime scene.
Much of that detective work involves studying the composition and color of the dirt that hides the artifacts. “A lot of what we do as archaeologists is learn to read the soil,” Gold said.
But of course the best part is the discovery: those rare moments when something – anything – is seen protruding from the layers of dirt. As one student put it, “Everything’s interesting when it comes up through the soil.”
Senior John Telischak had that experience multiple times during the summer dig. He unearthed glass, pottery, flat head square nails. “A lot of cool stuff was found,” he said, holding up a broken piece of glass.
The Shoemaker site was selected for the field experience class after American Studies Professor Emeritus Bill Morgan discovered a significant number of mid-1800s artifacts on the lawn of the residence hall, which first opened in 1915. According to a Stearns County Historical Society map of St. Cloud, dated 1869, a residence was located on the northeast corner of Shoemaker’s front lawn.
1869 was also the year the St. Cloud Normal School, which evolved into SCSU, opened in the former Stearns House, known in pre-Civil War days as a “first-class temperance hotel” promoted by teetotaler Yankee, anti-slavery settlers. Stearns House served Normal School students in the school’s first years, as a residence hall and classroom building.
Dr. Gold hoped the students would unearth enough artifacts to solve some of the mystery of those early residents, who were likely neighbors of the early settlers whose remains were discovered during excavation of a mid-1800s cemetery at the site of the campus Miller Center library in 1997. But it was apparent that most of the artifacts unearthed had been moved by utility work and other normal disturbances of city property. And it’s unknown how many homes were destroyed by fire or razed for other purposes over time.
“It teaches them to take a lot of little bits and pieces of history and form a big picture of life as it was,” Gold said of the on-site dig experience.
For every hour they spend in the field, the students spend at least three hours in the lab trying to put the clues together and ask the right questions … questions like:
This fall Gold’s students are taking the dig process the rest of the way, defining their research questions, testing their hypotheses, and analyzing their artifacts. They’ll study and record data about the square-topped hand made nails, multi-colored and patterned pieces of broken glass, and other artifacts discovered at the site. And they’ll think about whether they want to go into archaeology as their life’s work.
“This year I think a lot of them will go on,” Gold said. “I think a lot of them got hooked.”
In the past, many students who have benefited from the SCSU archaeology program’s commitment to giving students hands-on field experience have gone on to related jobs. It’s relatively rare for faculty at a school like SCSU to have hands-on site digs be part of mandatory education for a degree in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology, the fastest-growing area of the anthropology field. Besides the Miller Center site, several field experience classes have been taught at Kathio State Park. And Richard Rothaus, history professor and assistant vice president for research and faculty development at SCSU, has led student study groups to dig sites in Turkey and Greece.
Lee Anderson, who worked on the Miller Center site dig eight years ago, is a geographic information specialist at Minnesota’s Camp Ripley, applying the skills she learned as a GIS specialist for an archaeological survey. “One of the biggest opportunities I was granted while a student at St. Cloud State University was the chance to participate in an archaeological survey in the Korinthia region of Greece,” she said. “I was able to spend the summer months for four years there, assisting Richard Rothaus on overseeing the GIS aspect of the project.”
Several other former students have gone on to do consulting work in archaeology or related jobs, despite what Rothaus refers to as “a paucity of good-paying jobs in the field.”
Gold understands the draw to a field that to outsiders may seem like a lot of tedious work without a lot of promise for anything close to fame or fortune. She knew it would be her life’s work from the age of 5, when on a family vacation she visited a major archaeological dig site known as the Koster site in Illinois.
“I went into college knowing this was what I wanted to do,” Gold said. “While I was there (the University of Virginia), I had a chance to do hands-on research. Now it’s fun to be able to provide the same kind of experience for my students at SCSU.”
From hockey stars to style all-stars Hockey players get shot of glamour, score on TV makeover show
It’s not that SCSU women’s hockey stars Kobi Kawamoto and Leanne Perrin didn’t have style. Hockey stick curtain rods and Canadian sports posters made a bold statement in their living room. And their standard-issue jeans and t-shirts, well-scrubbed faces and long, stick-straight hair gave them a distinct “look.” It may not be Vogue, but it fit the lifestyle of these best pals from Vancouver, eh?
Not anymore. Not since Kobi followed through on her impetuous decision to nominate herself and Leanne for stardom on the television show that college women across America tune in to each weekday morning: The Learning Channel’s “A Makeover Story.” And not since the show’s production crew swooped in from the East Coast with their dramatic style coach, Moses (“One name, like Cher,” he said), and led the two women on a whirlwind trip into girliedom. The results can be seen when the SCSU seniors are featured in the first segment of the network series to air in the fall.
With cameras capturing their every move, the women and their entourage launched their two-day makeover at the Mall of America, where they filmed the show’s signature “style challenges.” Kobi had her legs waxed for the first time, and Leanne was strapped into a black corset to give her body “more curves.”
While Kobi was pleased with her smooth legs, Leanne didn’t appreciate the corset. “You know beauty knows no pain, sweetie,” Moses reminded her. “Work with me.” But after a couple hours in the lung-constricting, laced-up garment, she decided Victoria could keep this particular secret.
The adventure in style continued at Josi Wert, a trendy boutique located next door to the Lagoon Theatre in downtown Minneapolis. Kobi and Leanne, anticipating graduation next year and their need to start building a career wardrobe, wanted to find a few items of clothing they could mix and match.
But after going through the racks of “flirty,” feminine clothing and repeating “I trust Moses completely,” Kobi ended up in a black, mid-calf cocktail dress and Leanne in a long off-white skirt and silk watercolor print blouse. Along the way they were given style tips (“It’s all about finding the proper fit,” “It’s about finding that niche for you,” and “Some things that look good on the hanger don’t look good on the body”) and reminders from the producer that the cameras were always rolling. This was television, and as stars they needed to remain animated and talk about what they were feeling.
During their time in the boutique, a succession of media stopped by to chronicle the students-athletes’ foray into high style. It’s not often a national network television show – shot by the production company that runs the red-hot series “Trading Spaces” – comes to Minnesota. C.J. of the Star Tribune made the story the headline item in her next column. And St. Cloud Times reporter Liz Kohman gave the makeover process special coverage three days in a row.
Besides the corset fiasco, there were other minor setbacks that added drama
to their experience. The two young women who left British Columbia four years
But after some frustrating moments, Kobi and Leanne emerged happy with their fashionable new outfits. “You were already beautiful,” Moses assured them. “I’m just kicking it up a notch, giving it some sauce. I’ve totally taken you out of your comfort zone – that’s my job.”
The wrap-up for the makeover segment took the stars, style coach and crew to St. Joseph and the Michelle Kenric salon where their hair was snipped (nine inches off Kobi’s and six off Leanne’s), layered, banged and curved, and their once bare cheeks, eyes and lips were treated to coverage and color.
Then it was on to the SCSU National Hockey Center – familiar territory at last. When the well-coiffed hockey stars stepped tentatively onto the ice and into the spotlight, their teammates greeted them with squeals and cheers as cameras captured the “unveiling.”
After the production crew and style coach had gone, Leanne and Kobi went back to being casually dressed SCSU seniors. They had been excited to be tapped for a television show they “watch all the time.” They had wanted to have fun with it, to experiment with a more stylish look before Leanne goes on to graduate school for physical therapy training and Kobi pursues a career as a college coach.
Would they do it again? “Absolutely!” they said, despite the fact that the experience had a few surprises. They got to keep their new clothes and accessories, and they were left with dramatically new haircuts. “We would have never done this otherwise,” Kobi said of the change. “I’d probably still have long hair in 10 years if we hadn’t done this!”
West meets East - Citizen of the world brings that world to campus library
The William M. Lindgren Collection, which is on exhibit beginning this fall, gives visitors an understanding of a man who lived his life globally, a “citizen of the world.”
A Minnesota man who spent his career in intelligence and as a businessman in the Middle and Far East brought together, during his travels, a valuable assortment of artifacts, photos, paintings, books and scrapbooks. Before his death in 1993 at the age of 71, William M. Lindgren bequeathed a portion of the collection to the SCSU library.
The William M. Lindgren Collection, which is on exhibit beginning this fall, gives visitors an understanding of a man who lived his life globally.
Lindgren was raised in Isanti County, earned two bachelor’s degrees at the University of Minnesota, served in London as a broadcaster to the Royal Canadian armed forces in Europe during World War II, then earned his master’s degree in Canada. Next he was off to China to work for U.S. Intelligence and for international companies like oil giant Caltex. His career included stays in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing and Nanking in China, Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, Syria, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines.
In the collection are paintings from Pakistan; an opium lamp, painted scrolls and stoneware from China; wooden carvings from the Philippines; a brass and copper teapot from Tibet; Persian bowls; and swords, knives and vases from all over the world. Also in the collection are photo and scrapbook records of the people and politics in the lands where Lindgren spent time.
During his career, Lindgren frequently witnessed some of the world’s most tumultuous events: the French-Viet Nimh conflict, China’s change to the Communist Peoples Republic of China, the Chinese Communist subjugation of Tibet, and the Portuguese Revolution. Much of that history can be traced in his photo albums.
SCSU graduate student Christina Markwood-Rod, who is conducting an in-depth study of the collection and prepared the exhibit as part of her thesis, said alumni may remember Lindgren from when he taught interdisciplinary studies at SCSU in the ‘60s and again from 1975-1988. The graduate student believes Lindgren would have made a striking impression: “Here was this very tall man of Scandinavian descent who would surprise Chinese students by speaking to them in their native language.”
SCSU has had the collection since 1993, but the show opening this fall is the first scholarly, interpretive exhibit. “This is one of our largest collections,” says university archivist Pat Schenk, “and it’s the most visually pleasing and interesting of any we have.” The Lindgren Collection can be seen during regular library hours.
Images: A. Philippine carved bust of a woman. Early 20th Century B. Syrian knife and sheath. 20th Century C. Sino-Tibetan eating utensils and bowl. 19th Century D. Chinese bronze circular mirror. T’ang Dynasty, 618-906 A.D. E. Tibetan boots (dombador dhuse). 20th Century F. Chinese opium lamp. Early 19th Century
Stories of Campus Life
Past Times at St. Cloud State University
From anecdotes regaling silly college pranks to preposterous urban legends, favorite tales of SCSU’s past have become part of our tradition. The stories – repeated for laughs or whispered behind closed doors – mingle with our other fond memories of campus and color them with fun and mystery. With this “President’s-horse-in the-elevator” tale, we begin a new feature of Outlook, highlighting stories of campus life.
One autumn night in 1961, eight male students attempted to prod what they thought was President George Budd’s horse into the Shoemaker Hall elevator. When the animal balked and refused to ride, the pranksters hid him in a first-floor lavatory.
Sound preposterous? Not so, according to Henry Coppock, then a freshman resident of Shoemaker, who innocently stumbled onto the prank. “I walked into the bathroom across the hall from my room and found a horse in the shower stall,” he said.
“I went to the main desk and told them,” said Coppock, who later became a geography professor at SCSU, retiring in 1999. “The person there looked at me as though I was nuts. So I went back to my room and didn’t say any more.”
In reality, the unwitting four-hoofed participant in this famous prank did not belong to President Budd, who often rode his horse in parades and other public events.
“They were after George’s horse,” said Stan Sahlstrom, who was Budd’s director of special services at the time of the caper, “but instead they got my pony. He was boarded right next to the president’s horse.” Sahlstrom, who went on to become the first chancellor for the University of Minnesota’s Crookston campus, kept his promise to keep their identity a secret.
Donors help students navigate world of information
When I was a graduate student in the information media program at SCSU, the debate was whether information in electronic databases would ever become directly accessible to the public. Would librarians always be needed to help us find information? Would books disappear entirely, replaced by computers? Would libraries become unnecessary?
I’m dating myself, of course. Students now “Google™” throughout college, using internet connections in their dorm rooms or homes. And yet, the James W. Miller Learning Resources Center is one of the most vital places on campus.
Recent gifts to the Miller Center highlight the diversity of resources found there. Dr. Joan Blaska built a personal collection of children’s books during a 17-year career as a faculty member at SCSU. When she retired in 2001, she donated almost 300 books to the Miller Center. The books, written for children from preschool through third grade, help them understand the diversity of human abilities and overcoming disabilities. The Joan Blaska Book Fund through the SCSU Foundation helps purchase new books for the collection.
The family of William M. Lindgren donated parts of his extensive Asian art collection to the Miller Center. A student researcher built her master’s thesis around this mysterious man, who collected art in unusual places at critical times during the Cold War. The William Lindgren Asian Art Collection Fund allows restoration of fragile pieces and the purchase of related items.
The collections make these pieces accessible for study and help researchers find order in impossibly-large data banks. By comparison, a Google search on these two topics is revealing: for “disabilities” it produces more than 4 million hits; a search for “Asian art” produces more than 3 million hits.
Librarians will always be needed. Kudos go to Joan Blaska and the family of Bill Lindgren for making these unique gifts to our collection, and to Dennis Fields and the family of Doreen Keable for establishing endowed scholarships for information media students. Their contributions have a common thread – providing resources and expertise to help students navigate a bewildering array of information choices and make sense of what they find.
Bon appétit for scholarships
Apricot bars, blueberry cheesecake, and brownies with mint frosting sweetened an already pleasurable event at the College of Education’s annual spring “Dessert Fest.”
The event is a treat for everyone who attends: scholarship recipients, donors who make the scholarships possible, students’ families, and faculty members who help enhance the learning opportunities the scholarship provides.
The popular Dessert Fest is a reminder to all participants that a single scholarship has a positive impact on several individuals. It’s not the desserts that leave a lasting impression, however. The treat that makes the scholarship awards ceremony last long into the evening, well after the desserts are gone, is the opportunity it gives winners and their benefactors to meet one another.
“Without an event like this, many scholarship winners never have a chance to put a face with the benefactor’s name on their award certificates,” said COE Dean Joane McKay, who initiated the events. Students are also encouraged to invite their families, and each invites a favorite professor to share the evening.
James and Muriel Grunerud, St. Cloud, may have a weakness for sugar: they’ve attended every Dessert Fest since the tradition began five years ago. “We’re committed to education,” is the simple, straightforward reason the couple gives for their willingness to donate. Over two decades, they have endowed three scholarships for education students, including one for graduate students in education administration. That’s the field in which Grunerud taught until his retirement in 1983.
Going to college “is a pretty expensive business, you know,” said Mabel Ingwell when she was asked about her scholarship donation. The recipient of the scholarship wanted to go on to college, “but didn’t have the means all by herself.”
Ingwell’s children, both SCSU alumni, encouraged her to set up the scholarship in the name of her late husband Paul. “Both of them wanted me to do something like this because they knew their dad would have wanted to continue giving” as he had during the years he taught at SCSU. It was the right decision, the benefactor said: “It was nice to help someone who needed it.”
Degrees direct retiree to new career
After 35 years of calculating annuities for other retirees, Ed Solberg accepted his own retirement package at age 54. Knowing he “had to do something,” he enrolled first in an astronomy class at North Hennepin Community/Technical College, that transferred to St. Cloud State University, and, “Before I knew it I had my master’s.”
Now, after receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SCSU, Solberg is doing something he never dreamed he’d be doing – teaching.
“It would have been a lot better financially for me to have gone to college first,” said Solberg, who has relished the experience of learning for the sake of learning. “I don’t believe that education is just to enhance your job. It’s to learn and become a better person. There’s a big difference between training and education.”
Solberg went to high school in Newark, N.J., and did what a lot of other young people from that city did after high school. He got a job with Prudential. The insurance giant’s home office was in Newark, and what the company and its people did was big news there.
Solberg and his cocker spaniel Nicholas II (after the ill-fated Russian czar) live on a shady, “Leave It to Beaver”-era block in Monticello. There he substitute teaches at the middle school and high school in a variety of subjects. “It could be band one day, biology the next.”
Solberg likes being around young people. “Sometimes it can be a challenge, but it keeps you young,” he said. “Besides, it’s a good way to get to know the people in the community.” Solberg had gone to high school in Newark, N.J., and did what a lot of other young people from that city did after graduation. He got a job with Prudential, the insurance giant whose home office was in Newark. His last transfer was to Plymouth.
His bachelor of elective studies degree is in history, political science, and American studies. His master’s degree is in history.
Railroad buff and Professor Don Hofsommer, who served as Solberg’s adviser and mentor, remembers Solberg as a quiet but passionate guy. “He was an extraordinarily diligent grad student who brought life experience that was useful to both instructors and students.”
It took Solberg only a short time to get over the fact that he was more mature than the others in his classes. “Forget about the students – I was older than the professors!” He adopted the attitude that no matter how old he was and how young the others in class were, he was still just one of the students. A good one, at that: he graduated summa cum laude. Now Solberg has made a commitment to support other students in the College of Social Sciences through a gift in his will.
“He was a joy to have in class and a wonderful human being,” Hofsommer said. “I miss him a lot. I wish we had a boxcar full of students like him.”
CEO achieves balance - Compassion enriches CEO’s personal, professional life
Gordon Viere’s success story has elements in common with many other high-achieving SCSU alumni … worked his way through school, was influenced by a favorite professor, met a woman who changed his life. What’s distinctive about the CEO of Larson, Allen, Weishair & Co., LLP – one of America’s 20 largest accounting and consulting firms – is the depth of compassion and generosity this business leader displays in his actions and relationships.
In the 29 years since he graduated with a degree in accounting, Viere has risen to the top of his field – an outstanding achievement for the modest man who grew up in St. Rosa, population 60. Along the way he and his family have opened their home and their hearts to 22 foster children. While he acknowledges these experiences have benefited young people in need, they’ve had an equally positive impact on him and his relationships at home, at work and in the community.
According to Viere, it all goes back to his wife Diane’s influence. He credits the woman he met his junior year at SCSU with turning a mediocre student into a more organized, more focused, more mature future accountant. She also taught him a thing or two about generosity of spirit. “I credit her with most of the good things we get involved in,” Viere said. “She’s always been inclined to get involved and give back.”
Viere came to SCSU as a transfer student from Bemidji State. With a schedule that often packed more than 40 hours of work at Tempo in downtown St. Cloud around a full course load, Viere said he still did “pretty well” as a student. One of his most influential professors was Ron Carlson. “He taught me to expect the unexpected. I’d study and do everything I thought he wanted us to do to prepare, then I’d get the exam and it would be something totally different. I must have done okay though.”
“Okay is an understatement,” said Carlson, who has kept in touch with his former student. “Very few people ever reach the heights that Gordon has both nationally and locally in his profession,” he said.
From his university days of juggling work and studies, Viere developed the discipline, leadership skills and commitment that have taken him to the top of his game. “I learned that if you set your mind to something it’s amazing what you can accomplish,” Viere said. He soon also learned how deeply his actions could affect the future of other young lives.
Gordon and Diane were married just a year and a half – ages 23 and 21 – when their first opportunity to become foster parents presented itself in the form of a 16-year-old runaway. She was a friend of Diane’s younger sister, who had accompanied the frightened girl in her flight from an abusive home. When the Vieres found the girls, the runaway begged them not to send her home but to call her social worker instead. The social worker asked if the girl could stay with them for a few days while he sought room for her in a shelter.
Three months passed before the social worker showed up to take the girl. When the Vieres protested, he told them they were too young to be foster parents. They also were unlicensed. But it was too late. The young couple cared about the girl too much to let go without a fight – a fight they won by getting a temporary license and keeping their first foster child through her high school years.
That first experience was followed by a steady stream of young people who needed a home and family. “It’s one of the most gratifying and satisfying things we’ve ever done,” Viere said of the couple’s foster parenting. “It’s had a major impact on me.”
Having a succession of foster children also has been a beneficial experience for Gordon and Diane’s three children, ages 23, 21, and 12, he said. “Now when they see someone in trouble, their instinct is to help, and that’s been a positive influence.”
Viere believes the experiences have enhanced his leadership in business as well as his personal relationships. “It’s very important to have the human element in the workplace,” Viere said. “People know about our work with foster children, and I think it’s been a plus. It makes their boss less intimidating and gives them a sense that I’m much more approachable.
In a society where questionable business ethics and corporate scandals seem to be on the rise, Viere is a welcome role model for employees and students who aspire to get ahead, said Carlson. “The accounting profession would probably be far better if it had more people like Gordon.”
Viere is proud to be leading a firm with a history of demonstrating charity and service to society. “The three gentlemen who started our firm believed that generosity and giving back create better individuals, and if we have better individuals we’ll have a better organization.”
“What we say around here is you don’t get involved for business purposes, you get more satisfaction and benefit if you do it for personal satisfaction,” says Viere of his company. “You can’t fake it – people see through the fake.”
Class Act Values - Teaching starts with connections
Tom Keating ’71 was named Minnesota Teacher of the Year 2004 because of his connections. In fact, it’s all about connections for this 34-year master of the fine art of coaching, mentoring and reaching out to young people.
“No matter how ‘Jetsony’ we get, what’s never going to change is our need to feel connected and that we belong,” Keating said. “Doing that for kids is what teachers do best.”
As a Foley coach and teacher, and more recently as a teacher of at-risk students at Monticello’s Turning Point Alternative School, Keating has successfully practiced his philosophy: building human dynamics make kids click and makes a school click.
“All you hear about is test scores and numbers in education,” he said. “We need to develop relationships first; the learning comes after.”
When he speaks to such groups as SCSU education students embarking on their first field experience, Keating gives this assignment: “Say hello to a kid. Notice a new bike, haircut, piercing.” Simple, yes, but to Keating, this human connection is the best way to open young people’s hearts and minds to learning. Recognition of what makes them individuals and what’s important to them is key to getting through to students.
Not surprisingly, Keating peppers his conversation about his teaching success with names of those he credits with making him who he is. “Get one and be one – mentor, that is – is the mantra for our mentoring program.” He claims to have found some great mentors along his personal journey to career satisfaction, beginning with his transfer to SCSU from Metro State Community College in Minneapolis.
“That was a good move for me,” Keating said of his transfer. “I knew I wanted to be a teacher, and I’d started working with kids. I’d done some wrestling and youth work, and I really enjoyed it and felt good about it. I knew this is what I’d like to do, and at the time the place to go if you were going to be an educator – the place to be was St. Cloud State.”
Keating’s premier mentor at SCSU was wrestling coach John Oxton. “I was never a superstar, but John made me feel valued,” he said. “He taught me the importance of making connections with people.”
“That’s what education is about – passing it on from one generation to the next,” said Oxton, who has kept in touch with Keating during the 36 years since the student joined the team in Oxton’s first official year of coaching. “I don’t think I would have made it through if I hadn’t had such good student leadership, and Tom was one of them. We had a miserable record that year, but the next we had one of the best seasons SCSU ever had.”
After graduation, Keating and his wife, fellow teacher Mary Sue Keating, started their careers in Foley in 1971. He’d applied for jobs all over the country and was scheduled to fly to New York to interview with Boys Club when he got the call – and offer — from Foley.
Keating, citing more of his mentors, lists a string of names of superintendents, principals, school secretaries, and fellow teachers whose vision and dedication to helping kids learn influenced his own commitment to education. The list includes the five educators who started Turning Point. It started because these people recognized there were kids who were falling through the cracks, Keating said. “We met Friday mornings at Perkins in Monticello to talk about what this school would be like. We’ve had 128 graduates now, many of whom would not have graduated without Turning Point.”
With Turning Point well established and in its seventh year, Keating imagines other plans for the future. It’s his dream to create a foundation to develop a place for troubled kids to stay – a place where they can have a part-time job, pay some rent, follow through on their treatment plan and stay in school. A place to keep them out of the 5H club (hopeless, helpless, homeless, hungry and hugless). “Membership in that club is a crisis waiting to happen,” Keating said.
Keating believes everyone needs someone to listen and not judge, a chance to tell their story, and then move on with their lives. He’s not opposed to standards, quoting the John F. Kennedy line, “If the tide rises high enough all the boats float.” But tests aren’t everything, he believes, and good teachers know that.
Keating’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year award gives him the chance to speak to the public, to raise awareness of the importance of the teaching profession. “One of the problems we have is that everybody’s an expert on schools because they went once,” he said.
“There isn’t a kid who comes through class that will say they remember learning about aortic valves,” Keating said. “What they will remember is that someone cared enough to ask about them, to get deeply involved in their lives.”
Home Town to Downtown - Graduate scores high marks for Le Meridien
Behind an unassuming façade across from the Minneapolis Target Center, world-weary travelers, besieged celebrities, and seekers of romantic getaways discover a spectacular surprise in Jim Graves’ Le Meridien. The hotel is a rare combination of soothing luxury and high-tech excitement, a sumptuous oasis among neighbors like Starbucks and Hard Rock Cafe.
In the two years since Graves opened Le Meridien, it’s been earning awards and accolades from travel experts and guests who appreciate its amenities and its dramatic decor. The Travel Channel included it among its picks for the six most luxurious hotels in the world in a segment that will air this fall. It won Hospitality Design’s New Hotel of the Year Award, and in May it was included in the Conde Nast Traveler 2004 hot list for best new world-class hotels.
The 255-room upscale inn is, according to The New York Times, a “hybrid of SoHo slick and Minnesota nice, turning Le Meridien and its restaurant, bar and nightclub into the weekend spot for the local uber-hip.”
For Graves, a St. Cloud native who grew up in modest, middle-class surroundings
with five brothers and sisters and worked as many as 40 hours a week while
“People ask me if I fit in with this culture,” he said, gesturing to the sleek, chic surroundings of the hotel’s fourth-floor Cosmos bar and restaurant. “To me, it’s my business. I’m involved in filling a specific need for an upscale hotel here.”
The luxurious extras in each room include a 42-inch plasma screen television, $3,000 pillow-top bed covered in Egyptian cotton sheets, and bathroom with TV, phone and five-head shower. The décor was designed by cutting-edge artist Yabu Pushelberg, the current it team in international design.
“This is THE hotel in Minneapolis, the most expensive with the most amenities. We do a lot of pampering here. It’s all in the details.”
It’s been gradual, Graves said of his rise to the top of the hospitality business. After what he characterized as a solid educational foundation from SCSU – “a good well-rounded liberal arts kind of experience” – he was a teacher for a couple of years in the 1970s, then entered the development/real estate business. By 1981, he had founded the AmericInn Motels International chain, which he sold in 1994. In recent years his Graves Development and Graves Hospitality companies have developed Marriott and Radisson hotels (including St. Cloud’s), culminating in the Minneapolis Le Meridien, part of a world-wide chain of upscale hotels.
“I didn’t have a vision of what I wanted to do with the rest of my life while I was at SCSU,” Graves said. “But I got a good foundation and I learned how to learn and how to accept life’s only certainty – change.”
Graves runs his businesses as he has his life, with a healthy appreciation for the people who surround him. That includes his wife, Julie, whom he met while at SCSU, three married sons and three grandchildren.
“In our business we try to build loyalty and consistency,” he said, adding that he looks for the “three Cs” in those he hires – character, competency and commitment. ”I cherish the idea of having somebody be a long-term staff member who’s loyal and understands it’s mutually beneficial for them to stay with us.”
It’s a Graves family trait, this loyalty. Oldest son Ben, also an SCSU graduate and the vice president for operations in the family companies, shares Jim’s business goals – better the community, please guests and remain profitable while being good to employees.
“One of the housekeepers I hired is now general manager of one of our properties,” Ben said. “I’m proud of that.”
The Graves also are proud of the entrepreneurial spirit that drove them to take the gamble of opening a hotel with rates that are $80 to $100 a night higher than any other Twin Cities room. “There’s nothing else like this in Minneapolis,” Ben said.
His father agrees, citing the famous quote from Will Rogers: “You got to go out on a limb to get the fruit.”
Making professional connections
The halls of Le Meridien, Minneapolis, resonated with shouts of a unified “ St. Cloud State!” last spring when SCSU alumni and faculty members from the G.R. Herberger College of Business showcased their Husky pride at an After Work Social at the premier luxury hotel.
A “who’s who” attendee list was distributed at the event
to facilitate mingling, and the room was abuzz with conversation. Successful
CEOs, presidents and entrepreneurs spent the evening talking to those who have
been in the business for a while as well as those who are just starting their
The intent of the new program, initiated by the Alumni Association in response
to comments from alumni who said they want the chance to network, is to help
alumni make connections and advance their careers after graduation.
Q&A Ask Alumni - Focus on Claire Price
Claire Price, a 1997 graduate of the communication management master’s program, works in the Hong Kong office of Jack Morton Worldwide, a brand advocacy firm which employs 600 in offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia.
Which SCSU experience best prepared you for your career?
Who was your most memorable
How is it that you were hired by Jack Morton Worldwide in Hong Kong?
What made you interested in an overseas assignment?
What is a typical day for you in Hong Kong?
If I’m in Hong Kong, I often go for a run or to the gym. I get to the office around 8:30 or 9 a.m. and will generally review e-mails that have come in overnight from Europe and the U.S., then divide my time between the projects I’m working on. I usually work on three to five projects in parallel — they typically involve people in a few different countries. There might be some client meetings, a review meeting, or a pitch. We also have internal production team meetings to review progress on each event: reviewing event content, creative designs (print and staging), looking at entertainment for a specific event, reviewing technical matters like staging/av/lighting, etc. As a producer, I’m responsible for overall project management, which also includes negotiating contracts and managing the budget and suppliers. I often leave the office about 7:30 p.m. to meet friends for dinner or a quick drink. Hong Kong is a work-hard, play-hard kind of city.
How long do you foresee yourself living and working overseas?
How do you cope with living so far away from family and friends?
They call it “Jake’s Bill” for the SCSU senior whose need for further medical procedures was the basis for legislation to extend insurance benefits to Minnesota children born with a cleft lip and/or palate. But it was the teamwork of Rep. Lynne Osterman and Jake’s mom Michaela Meyer – both SCSU alumnae – that made House Bill 2554 a reality for Jake and countless others with the third most common congenital defect.
Alumni, employee and student team up to pass critical legislation
The tenacity of Osterman and perseverance of Meyer – “Mac” to her co-workers – combined with Jake’s courage and charisma this past session to bring a little-known problem to the attention of lawmakers. Families like the Meyers, whose first son was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, could get insurance coverage for their children’s corrective surgery until age 18. After that, an obscure 1982 law cut off support for further related procedures.
It wasn’t until the Meyers tried to schedule their son’s final dental work – his first full set of front teeth – that they encountered the devastating legal roadblock that stood between Jake and the end of a lifetime of surgeries and other procedures to rebuild and reshape his mouth, nose and lips.
Jake’s had been an especially difficult case, ranked a ten by his doctors on a severity scale of 1 to 10 when he was born. “He couldn’t breathe right or suck a bottle,” Osterman said of Jake’s condition. “That’s not cosmetic – it’s a disability.”
Jake, who got a chance to talk with lawmakers about a life punctuated by physical challenges and more than 20 surgeries, realizes the profound effect the procedures have had. “I’d be lucky if I were here, alive, without the surgeries, let alone be able to eat and talk,” he said. His perspective helped humanize the cause for busy legislators. So did the powerful series of photos depicting the dramatic 18-year metamorphosis of the form and function of his face, changes brought about by procedures he had during holidays and summer vacations.
The biggest challenge for Osterman and the Meyers was to capture the attention of the 201 Minnesota House and Senate members who are hit with hundreds of issues and proposals each session. “We had to crack the nut and let them know how just a few changes in this law could make all the difference in the world to many families,” Osterman said.
“Not all of the necessary surgeries are over by that age (18) for children like Jake because they’re not through growing,” Osterman said. “I knew in my heart working to pass this legislation was the right thing to do.”
And pass it she did, a rare feat for a first-term legislator. Osterman took her oath as a Republican House member from New Hope in January 2003. “In order to help Jake I only had one window for making this happen.” The bill had been drafted and introduced in the House in the previous session by Rep. Joe Opatz, another SCSU alumnus and an associate vice president for academic affairs at the university.
A speech communication and mass communication major who traces her 17-year quest to become a legislator directly back to her SCSU days, Osterman was undaunted by the complex process of getting the attention of the right legislative leaders and getting a hearing scheduled. What drives her, she said, is her belief in a system of citizen-lawmakers making public policy – good public policy. “I’m not in it for the politics,” she said. “I’m there to do things like this.”
“It was amazing to see her in action,” Meyer said of Osterman, who’s been her friend since the latter worked as a student in the mid-’80s in the Atwood Memorial Center office where Meyer and Opatz worked. “She just wouldn’t back down or take no for an answer.”
Osterman has similar praise for Meyer’s role in the passage of House bill 2554. “She was incredible,” Osterman said of her friend, who graduated in 1978 with a degree in social work. “She gathered information, communicated with other families and amassed a thick folder over three years. Mac is a private person, but her willingness to share her experience helped push the right buttons and get the right attention.”
Now Jake will have the remaining procedures to finish fixing his teeth and reshaping his mouth. “An office staff member, a student, and an alumni legislator pooled their courage and worked to get this passed,” said Osterman. “It’s this family spirit that makes me proud of my alma mater.”
For Jake, who along with other Minnesota children born with a cleft lip and/or palate is the beneficiary of the legislation, the process was an amazing learning experience. “I became involved when it was crucial for me to be there,” he said of his appearance at the legislative hearings and conversations with lawmakers. “But my mom put in an incredible amount of work – that really was the driving force. She had tried to get it passed before Lynne was a representative. But, together, they gave me a good lesson in politics.”
‘36 Emeline Quigley, 89, Sartell, MN
‘42 Loyal Burmeister, 83, Horseshoe Bend, AR
‘42 Herman Hoplin, 83, Rexford, NY
‘42 ‘44 Eleanor (Johnson) Hoplin, 84, Rexford, NY
‘50 E. Willard Frank, 75, Hayden, ID
‘57 ‘69 Duane Christopherson, 72, Vining, MN
‘76 Thomas Pfannenstein, 52, Mountain Lake, MN
‘03 Sean Paul Gonia, 23, St. Cloud, MN
Faculty and staff we remember
‘84 Kelly Wenz, 43, St. Cloud, MN
‘96 Carita (Bieniek) Hibben and Dan Hibben, Brooklyn Park, MN, married on 9/22/2001.
‘97 Ryan Lemieux and ‘97 Julie (Willy) Lemieux, Edina, MN, married on 2/14/2004.
‘98 Chris Gowin and ‘00 Raissa Byer, Albert Lea, MN, married on 2/20/2003.
‘00 Stacy (Husfeldt) Bock and Lance Bock, Maple Grove, MN, married on 9/7/2003.
‘01 Jacqueline (Steward) Carpenter and William Carpenter, Miami, FL, married on 12/27/2003.
‘02 Nicole (Hanson) Norton and Michael Norton, St. Cloud, MN, married on 3/20/2004.
‘48 Charlotte (West) Anderson, New Ulm, MN, and her husband Hobart celebrated their golden wedding anniversary (April 18) in New Ulm and later in Watertown, SD.
‘66 James Nagel and Barbara (Damman) Nagel, Napoleon, OH, granddaughter, Allison, 1/12/2004.
‘90 Julie (Mehr) Hanson and ‘91 Steven Hanson, Chanhassen, MN, son, Drew, 9/10/2003. Other children: Anna Marie, 2.
‘90 Jeffrey LeGare and Gina (Goertzen) LeGare, Murphy, TX, son, Jack, 7/25/2002. Other children: Ethan, 4, Emma Lishelle, 6.
‘90 Lori (Breitbach) Peterson and Thomas Peterson, Lakeville, MN, son, Sam Howard, 3/25/2004.
‘90 Duane Pike and ‘93 Lisa (Blank) Pike, Lakeville, MN, daughter, Madelyn Rae. Other children: Andrew.
‘90 Alan Walz and ‘90 Milissa (Fussy) Walz, St. Joseph, MN, son, Daniel Virgil, 2/16/2001. Other children: Craig.
‘91 Joseph Gallo and Lisa (Hughs) Gallo, Waxahachie, TX, son, Anthony Joseph, daughter, Sicilia, 11/2/2002.
‘91 Timothy Morse and Amy (Inderieden) Morse, Plymouth, MN, son, Steven, 7/18/2003. Other children: Rachel Rose, 5.
‘91 Ann (Leach) Roeder and ‘91 William Roeder, Savage, MN, son, Blake Adam, 3/30/2004.
‘91 Valeri (Miller) Scheps and Daniel Scheps, Almena, WI, daughter, Greta Loralee, 10/14/2003. Other children: Jonathon.
‘91 Kimberly (Bowyer) Zalewski and Kurtis Zalewski, Shoreview, MN, son, Brian Daniel, 10/2/2003. Other children: Laura, Kevin, 11.
‘92 Christopher Anderson and ‘93 Keri (Breitbach) Anderson, Savage, MN, daughter, Ashley, 8/6/2002.
‘92 Nancy (Davis) Gerads and ‘98 Daniel Gerads, Rice, MN, daughter, Jayden Lynn, 3/1/2004. Other children: Logan Daniel, 3, Karleen, 6.
‘92 Tami (Olson) Mortenson and Jeffrey Mortenson, Rice, MN, son, Kevin Christopher, 1/9/2004. Other children: William Jeffrey, 8.
‘92 Jeffrey Vizenor and ‘97 Amy (Satterlee) Vizenor, North Mankato, MN, daughter, Abby, 5/5/2003.
‘92 Michelle (Thompson) Witter and Brian Witter, Playa Del Rey, CA, daughter, Amberlyn, 6/11/2003.
‘92 Tammy (Berckes) Yackley and Jason Yackley, New Ulm, MN, daughter, Natalie Jane, 4/18/2004. Other children: Cooper, 5, Jackson, 7.
‘93 Korbi (Machula) Carrison and Mike Carrison, Las Vegas, NV, son, Maxwell, 1/12/2004.
‘93 Duane Frank and ‘95 Shereen (Masters) Masters-Frank, Redwood Falls, MN, son, Jack, 4/5/2004. Other children: Brenden, 6, Tamarah, 8.
‘93 Carmen (Foley) Maclennan and Brian Maclennan, Spicer, MN, son, Keegan, 3/20/2003.
‘93 Alyssa (Jeske) Rosenberger and ‘97 Joseph Rosenberger, Melrose, MN, daughter, Madison Jo, 7/10/2003.
‘93 Jeremy Schreifels and Constance Downs, Silver Spring, MD, daughter, Rachel, 6/2/2002.
‘94 Cory Hanson and Jodi (Peterson) Hanson, Williston, ND, son, Sawyer, 9/9/2003. Other children: Sloan, Anne.
‘94 Ronald Henkel and Mindy Henkel, Rice, MN, daughter, Sophia, 12/7/2003. Other children: Savannah, 2.
‘94 Stacy Latterell and Craig Cloutier, St. Paul, MN, son, Carson Joseph, 5/31/2004.
‘94 Anthony Vruwink and Dana (Berling) Vruwink, Spicer, MN, daughter, Erin, 4/26/2003.
‘94 ‘95 Trevor Olson and ‘96 Paula (Edstrom) Olson, Sartell, MN, son, Robert Ace, 3/4/2004.
‘95 Jon Bueckers and ‘96 Tiffany (Sershen) Bueckers, Maple Grove, MN, son, Aries Jon, 12/8/2003. Other children: Therin Jon, 3.
‘95 Bracken Rustad and ‘95 Marissa (Tieszen) Rustad, Champlin, MN, daughter, Korissa, 7/30/2003. Other children: Bryan, 3.
‘95 Joel Ulland and ‘96 Tracy (Landowski) Ulland, Savage, MN, daughter, Sydney Anne Rose, 3/2/2004. Other children: Linnea Monet, 2.
‘96 Allison (Stewart) Dahmen and ‘96 Dean Dahmen, Pierz, MN, son, Daniel, 5/25/2003.
‘96 Daniel Moldan and ‘96 Julie (Sullivan) Moldan, Champlin, MN, daughter, Andrea, 5/7/2003. Other children: Aaron, 3.
‘96 Paula (Edstrom) Olson and ‘94 ‘95 Trevor Olson, Sartell, MN, son, Robert Ace, 3/4/2004.
‘96 Jonathan Sartwell and ‘97 Tammy (Rice) Sartwell, Waconia, MN, Max, 8/18/2000.
‘97 Kelly (Faber) Eltgroth and Peter Eltgroth, St. Cloud, MN, son, Ethan, 7/2/2004.
‘97 Michelle (Niedenfuer) Johnson and Troy Johnson, Brainerd, MN, daughter, Katelyn Sarah, 7/12/2002.
‘97 Amy (Carlson) Staples and David Staples, Farwell, MN, son, Rider, 3/29/2004. Other children: Gage Allen, 2, Dawson, 4.
‘97 Melissa (Hood) White and Scott White, Appleton, WI, daughter, Ellen McManhon, 2/3/2004. Other children: Emma Elizabeth, 3.
‘98 Tiffany (Miller) Kriesel and Joel Kriesel, Owatonna, MN, son, Wyatt, 12/16/2003.
‘98 Lisa Moore and Thomas VonRuden, Minneapolis, MN, son, Hunter, 4/16/2003.
‘98 Daryl Scholz and ‘00 Mindi Scholz, St. Cloud, MN, daughter, Abigail Theresa, 7/17/2003.
‘98 ‘00 Jessica (Reeck) Vankuyk and ‘00 Jeremy Vankuyk, Robbinsdale, MN, daughter, Mya Jean, 1/31/2003.
‘99 Kelly Lurken-Tvrdik and Matthew Lurken-Tvrdik, Freeport, MN, son, Maxwell, 4/15/2003.
‘99 Tiffany (Ellering) Neubert and Matthew Neubert, Sauk Rapids, MN, daughter, Amber, 9/11/2003. Other children: Lydia, 2, Anna, 3, Cailin.
‘99 Joshua Opiola and Nicky Opiola, St. Michael, MN, daughter, Tessa, 3/22/2004.
‘99 Kelly (Murphy) Raimo and Chris Raimo, Blaine, MN, son, Vaughn Douglas, 12/27/2003.
‘00 Gregory Curtis and ‘00 Melissa (Mitchell) Curtis, Monticello, MN, daughter, Rose Marie, 2/21/2004.
‘00 Megan (Lee) Epsky and Michael Epsky, Minneapolis, MN, son, Maximilian (Max), 6/29/2004.
‘00 Joseph Karau and ‘01 Kelli (Roush) Karau, Valdez, AK, son, Benjamin Williams, 5/30/2004.
‘00 Kristie Rahm and ‘00 William Rahm, Foreston, MN, daughter, Elizabeth, 10/13/2003.
‘01 Rebecca (Miller) Hartmann and Jesse Hartmann, Sauk Centre, MN, son, Tate Joseph, 5/26/2004. Other children: Kiley Marie.
‘01 Ward Lane and Margie Lane, Duluth, MN, son, Thomas, 10/28/2003. Other children: Steven, 3.
‘02 Jonathan Gunnarson and Shannon (Olsen) Gunnarson, Lewiston, MN, daughter, Jonna, 3/26/2004. Other children: Payton.
‘02 Kaurina (Beager) Sweeter and Brandon Sweeter, Foley, MN, son, Bryce, 4/22/2004.
‘03 Jill (Schmitz) Justin and William Justin, St. Cloud, MN, daughter, Ruth August, 2/11/2004.
‘03 Stephanie Sunde and Kyle Sunde, Cold Spring, MN, daughter, Haylen Jo, 1/19/2004.
Mary (Ghostley) Wesp, Anoka, MN, is a kindergarten teacher at a private school in Anoka.
'37 Paul Bixby, State College, PA, is an active resident of the Foxdale Village Retirement Community.
'54 LeRoy Poganski, St. Cloud, MN, was a senior partner at Kern, DeWenter, Viere (KDV) CPA Firm until he retired in 1990.
'55 Donavan Roelofs, Midlothian, VA, has written two historical novels - "A Long Tall Road" and "Two Roads from Yesterday." Two of his books of poetry, "Images from the Road" and "Shadows from the Road," also are now available for purchase.
'57 Michael Schmitz, Osseo, MN, received a master of arts degree in Bible and theology from the Minnesota Graduate School of Theology in May 1999. He was ordained to the ministry in May 1999.
'63 Elizabeth (Woeste) Fossum, Golden Valley, MN, recently retired after 36 years with Catholic Charities in St. Paul. She was recognized for her career-long commitment to Catholic Charities and its clients with the dedication of an engraved block in her honor placed within a glass wall in the Seton Services reception area.
'65 Kay (Rodberg) Fredericks, North Oaks, MN, is founder, president and CEO of TREND, a company that designs, manufactures, and internationally distributes award-winning educational products that encourage creative thinking and learning in children of all ages. The company recently donated six semi-truck loads of learning products valued at over $875,000 to Feed The Children's Kids School Basics program.
'65 David Meaney, Granite Bay, CA, retired from his 15-year post as Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools, and more than 39 years in California public education, in July. His contributions to education were recently recognized with the naming of the David P. Meaney Education Center.
'69 Bonnie (Young) Johnson, Eden Prairie, MN, was chosen as American Association for Health Education (AAHE) Health Education Professional of the Year for the K-12 category. The annual award is presented to one person who has made substantial contributions to the profession as a practitioner.
'71 Thomas Keating, Foley, MN, was named Minnesota Teacher of the Year for 2004. He teaches at Turning Point Alternative School in the Monticello School District.
'73 '84 Kenneth Czech, St. Cloud, MN, received his Ed.D. from St. Mary's University in June.
'74 Dennis Holland, Sartell, MN, CLU, ChFC, REBC, RHU, of the Minnesota Business Center of the Principal Financial Group, has been named the company's National Producer of the Year.
'77 Michael Paul, Portland, OR, has been elected to the Board of Directors of Portland Center Stage, the city's largest professional theater.
'83 Ralph Talbot, Anoka, MN, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in May 2004 after completing studies at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas.
'84 Carol (Knutson) Bergeron, Minneapolis, MN, is co-owner and business manager of Babble-On Recording Studios in downtown Minneapolis.
'86 Bonnie Henrickson, Lawrence, KS, who guided Virginia Tech to five NCAA appearances and went 158-62 during her seven seasons at the Big East school, is the new women's basketball coach at Kansas University.
'88 Maria Thompson, Shoreview, MN, is the Director of Communications at Luther Seminary. She received an Award of Excellence from the Religion Communicators Council for "God Could Use Someone Like You," the seminary's admissions CD-ROM.
'89 Sarah (Noerenberg) Smith, Howard Lake, MN, Community Development Director for the city of Mound, spoke to SCSU community development classes during the fall 2003 semester.
'89 John Sullivan, Cambridge, MN, is the new Director of Community Development for the city of Prior Lake. Previously he held a similar position with the city of Cambridge.
'90 Duane Pike, Lakeville, MN, earned a master of arts in police leadership, administration and education from the University of St. Thomas in December 2003. He was promoted to sergeant in the Eagan Police Department in June 2003.
'91 Steven Hanson, Chanhassen, MN, received his MBA from the University of Minnesota in 1999.
'93 Michael Petroske, Sartell, MN, is a successful mortgage officer. He also was named Minnesota Assistant High School Hockey Coach of the year last spring for his work coaching at St. Cloud Cathedral.
'93 Lisa (Blank) Pike, Lakeville, MN, is employed as a Senior Workforce Relations Consultant at Xcel Energy.
'93 Michael Worcester, Cokato, MN, is currently the director of the Cokato Museum & Akerlund Photo Studio in Cokato, MN. He has been director since 1996; his employment there dates back to 1993.
'93 Gerald Young, Northfield, MN, was promoted from associate professor to professor of physical education, athletics, and recreation at Carleton College.
'94 Anne Bisek, Fremont, CA, has written her dissertation on urban search and rescue teams who were deployed to New York following the 9/11 terrorist attack. Her internship was on the spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury units at a regional trauma center. She graduated with her Psy.D. in clinical psychology from The Wright Institute in June 2004.
'94 William Schmidt, Becker, MN, has been employed at AbeTech for 10 years selling barcoding and related technology products.
'95 Heidi (Timmer) Peper, Clearwater, MN, is Community Development Manager for SEH Consulting in St. Cloud.
'96 Lisa (Voss) Graphenteen, Slayton, MN, is Deputy Director of Central Minnesota Housing Partnership in St. Cloud.
'96 Louis Lenzmeier, Plymouth, MN, was recently promoted from Senior Technical Writer to Tech Writing Team Leader for Achieve Healthcare Technologies in Eden Prairie.
'96 Jason Murray, Alexandria, MN, Executive Director of the Alexandria Area Economic Development Authority, spoke to SCSU community development classes during the fall 2003 semester.
'96 Anita (Forst) Rasmussen, Sartell, MN, Director of Planning & Community Development for the city of Sartell, made a presentation at the Stearns History Museum on "Planning for a Changing Community" in March 2004.
'96 Robert St. Pierre, St. Paul, MN, purchased the Waterloo Bucks baseball team in Waterloo, IA, as a member of the seven-person Twin Sports Group. He is currently the director of public relations for a national non-profit conservation organization, Pheasants Forever.
'97 Robin (Dingmann) Dolbow, St. Paul, MN, Director of Planning & Community Development for the city of Sartell, made a presentation at the Stearns History Museum on "Planning for a Changing Community" in March.
'98 Angela (Marthaler) Berg, St. Cloud, MN, was recently promoted to Land Use Division Supervisor for Stearns County Environmental Services in St. Cloud.
'98 Katie Boyce, Lafayette, IN, has been appointed to direct the Freshman Engineering Honors Program in Purdue University's School of Engineering. The program attracts approximately 200 incoming freshman engineering students a year.
'98 Kevin Flewell, Ault, CO, was recently accepted into the speech communication master's program at Colorado State.
'98 Wade Kline, Fargo, ND, Community Planner for the Fargo- Moorhead Council of Governments, spoke to SCSU community development classes during the Fall 2003 semester.