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The year in review at CSB and SJU

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December 21, 2010

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University are leaders when it comes to global education.

Don't believe that? Just look at some of the top stories of 2010 from the two schools, and you suddenly realize that CSB and SJU don't operate simply alongside the lakes and woods of Minnesota.

Grants sent students to conduct collaborative research in China. A new Asian Studies major was approved. A student-produced documentary was filmed in Uganda. A Center for Global Education was established. And, CSB and SJU continued to receive high marks for study abroad programs.

Here's a list of some of the top CSB and SJU stories of 2010. Listed first are 10 highlights for both institutions, followed by two separate lists of five items each for CSB and SJU. All items are in chronological order.


CSB and SJU Year-End Highlights

Feb. 16 - CSB and SJU received two grants totaling $71,385 from the ASIANetwork Freeman Foundation Student-Faculty Fellows Program to support collaborative research in Asia during summer 2010. The first grant of $35,885 funded "The Storytelling Tradition of Geng Village: Preserving an Intangible Cultural Heritage" in China. The second grant of $35,500 funded "Five Independent Undergraduate Research Projects" in Nepal.  More information

Feb. 26 - A new Asian Studies major at CSB and SJU was approved by the CSB Board of Trustees and SJU Board of Regents. The new major will help graduates pursue careers in Asia and make them more competitive in a job market which increasingly demands the ability to develop strong working relationships with Asian colleagues. It is the 37th major to be offered by CSB and SJU, and the first major added since Gender and Women's Studies in the spring of 2007. More information

April 8 - A student-produced documentary, Essubi: Growing Up With Hope, made its premiere at the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU. It was the third documentary in as many years produced by Extending the Link, a non-profit, student-run venture through CSB and SJU. Previous student-produced documentaries were on free-trade coffee in Guatemala, and micro-lending in Chile. Essubi: Growing Up With Hope is about child-headed households in Uganda, a country in eastern Africa. Essubi means "hope" in Luganda, which is a tribal language of the country. More information

April 8 - Four seniors at CSB and SJU - Patrick Curran, Halyce Jackson, Elizabeth Jaqua and Breanna Peterson - participated in the Mayo Innovation Scholars Program, an experiential learning program offered by Mayo Clinic's Office of Intellectual Property. Participants research inventions that have been developed by Mayo staff to determine whether they should become commercialized products. The CSB/SJU team was responsible for researching the scientific and market potential for a new treatment of some pulmonary diseases. The students determined the project is not commercially viable at this time and recommended to close the file. Their efforts were recognized as exceptional by the founder of the program, retired Medtronic executive John Meslow, and the Mayo licensing manager. More information

April 27An inaugural group of 81 students from CSB and SJU were accepted into the Theta of Minnesota Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at CSB/SJU during a ceremony at Alumnae Hall, Haehn Campus Center, CSB. A total of 72 seniors and nine juniors were selected by faculty members at CSB and SJU who are members of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest academic honor society which was founded in 1776. More information

Aug. 20/Aug. 26 - CSB and SJU were recognized nationally by two different publications. On Aug. 20, CSB and SJU was named a "Best Buy School" by the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Fiske named 45 institutions as Best Buys this year. There were no other Minnesota colleges or universities on the 2011 list. The ranking combines academic ratings, pricing and the quality of student life on campus. More information.  On Aug. 26, both CSB and SJU were ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the country by the U.S. News and World Report college rankings. The magazine listed CSB and SJU for their strong commitment to undergraduate teaching and the schools' study abroad program. For the second year in a row, CSB was named an "Up-and-Coming" institution. More information

Sept. 26 - Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of legendary India leader and peace activist Mahatma Gandhi, was one of the featured speakers at the 23rd annual Peace Studies Conference at CSB. Rajmohan Gandhi, who spoke on "Gandhi in the 21st Century," is a journalist and author who has written widely on the Indian independence movement and its leaders, Indo-Pakistan relations, human rights and conflict resolution. His comprehensive biography of his grandfather was published in 2006 to critical acclaim. More information

Oct. 27 - Student organizers from CSB and SJU repaid a $40,000 loan from CSB for Clemens Perk - a popular coffee shop in Clemens Library, which opened in November 2005. The loan had a planned payback time of five years. Clemens Perk was the first E-Scholars program offered through the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship. A portion of Clemens Perk's proceeds will now go into a sponsorship of the E-Scholars Program. There are currently six different student groups on business enterprises they have developed through the E-Scholars program. More information

Nov. 1 - CSB and SJU establish the Center for Global Education. The center will look at how the schools move forward to further their international initiatives, and connect departments and programs more fully with global issues, opportunities and with educational partners. It will also be a "think tank" where new ideas can be generated and vetted.  Joe Rogers was named the center's first director. "We can start now to really dream of new and creative initiatives that fall outside the purview of any one specific office," Rogers said. More information

Nov. 15 - CSB and SJU were ranked No. 1 nationally among baccalaureate institutions with students who participate in mid-length (semester) study abroad programs, according to Open Doors 2010, the annual report on international education published by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The two schools had 398 students study abroad in mid-length programs during the 2008-09 school year, according to the most recent data released by the IIE. The 2010 report also found that CSB and SJU ranked No. 5 nationally among baccalaureate institutions for total number of study abroad students, with 550 students who studied abroad in 2008-09. Open Doors 2010 also reported that CSB and SJU ranked No. 9 among baccalaureate institutions with 284 international students for the 2009-10 school year. CSB and SJU had the highest number of international students from Minnesota schools listed in the top 40 baccalaureate institutions. More information 

CSB Year-End Highlights

May 14 —  CSB golfer Kathryn Hauff puts both the "student" and "athlete" into the term "student-athlete." Hauff, a senior from Fargo, N.D., serves on both the CSB Student Senate and the CSB Board of Trustees. She's just the second Blazers' athlete to serve on the Board of Trustees. As a member of the golf team, she participated in the NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championships, placing 47th individually with a four-day total of 345. She also received an NCAA Elite 88 Award winner at the championships (presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 88 championships). Her story was featured online at More information

MABMay 20 - CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger was honored by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as an "Industry Leader" at the Women in Business Awards Luncheon. The award honored professional women who are recognized as accomplished leaders in their respective industries, applauded for their track record of success and their involvement in the community. Baenninger has led the college since 2004. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Independent Colleges, the Minnesota Private College Council and the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Her tenure at CSB has been marked by the early completion of the college's largest capital campaign, significant increases in annual giving for scholarships and the near doubling of its endowment. More information 

Sept. 1 —   McGlynn's Sports Café at the Haehn Campus Center reopened. The décor, which features memorabilia from all 11 CSB sports, is unique in that it focuses on women's college athletics. Old-school jerseys, golf clubs, tennis rackets and various other pieces of sports equipment adorn the walls and hang from the ceilings. Full-wall murals include photos of a variety of CSB athletes. The cafe served food to hungry students until 2008, when the venue was temporarily closed. More information

Nov. 17 - For the second year in a row, CSB was one of the top nonprofit organizations to receive donations from Give to the Max Day, an event designed to increase giving to Minnesota-based nonprofits. Unofficially, 776 donors gave $80,636 to CSB. This was a nearly 8 percent increase in donors from last year and garnered CSB the No. 4 ranking in the Greater Minnesota Region category. Gifts for CSB ranged from $10 to $5,000. In addition, CSB received a $2,500 bonus cash prize for finishing fourth. More information

Kim MotesDec. 6 - Kimberly Ferlaak Motes, '89, was named the vice president of Institutional Advancement at CSB. She begins her new position Jan. 6, and will be responsible for all aspects of fundraising for the college as well as overseeing Alumnae Relations, Fine Arts Programming and the Literary Arts Institute. For the past two years, she served as managing director of Theater Latté Da in Minneapolis. From 2002-08, Motes was executive director for the Minnesota Shubert Performing Arts and Education Center (now named the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts. Motes served as the director of development at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., from 1997 to 2002, and managed the adult arts education program at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 1992-97. More information


SJU Year-End Highlights

March 6 — SJU junior Minga Batsukh (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia/St. Benedict's Prep, N.J.) won his second consecutive national title at 141 pounds with a 10-4 decision over Jeremy Stierly of Ithaca (N.Y.) at the 2010 NCAA Division III Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He became the first SJU wrestler to win two national titles, and the second Johnnie to win two national championships (track athlete Jim Gathje won back-to-back national steeplechase titles in 1985-86). Batsukh finished the season with a 19-4 overall record. More information

May 14/Dec. 6 — The SJU golf team finished fourth at the NCAA Division III national golf tournament at Hershey, Pa. The Johnnies, playing in their 11th consecutive national tournament, finished in the top-four for the fourth time in that span. Saint John's finished 14 shots behind team champion Methodist University (N.C.). Freshman Mark Giorgi (Red Wing, Minn.) and senior Ben Vangsness (Alexandria, Minn.) tied for 12th place individually with four-round totals of 294. More information.  On Dec. 6, SJU head golf coach Bob Alpers was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Hall of Fame. Alpers was the lone inductee from NCAA Division III. The 2007 Eaton Golf Pride National Coach of the Year, Alpers is in his 18th season as head coach of the Johnnie golf program. He has guided the Johnnies to nine MIAC titles and 12 consecutive NCAA appearances (the Johnnies have already qualified for the 2011 national tournament), including back-to-back national championships in 2007 and 2008. More information 

June 2 -  Matt Beck, a 2010 graduate of SJU, earned a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Scholarship to teach in Nuremberg, Germany. "I'll be teaching in two schools in Nuremberg - a Gymnasium (university-track school) and a Haupschule (practical career-track school)," said Beck, who also received special diversity position from Fulbright. He will be teaching in Germany through June 30, 2011. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. He is one of 1,600 Americans who were sent abroad by Fulbright in 2010-11. More information 

Aug. 30 - U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. - the state's first elected woman to serve in the Senate - delivered the fourth annual Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture at the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU. Her speech, "Conscience and Courage in Public Life," was sponsored by the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement at Saint John's University. Klobuchar spoke on the legacy of McCarthy - an SJU graduate - as well as education and internationalism. More information

Oct. 22 - President Obama appointed SJU graduate Denis McDonough '92 as deputy national security advisor. "For years, I have counted on Denis McDonough's expertise and counsel on national security issues," Obama said in a statement. "He possesses a remarkable intellect, irrepressible work ethic and a sense of collegiality that has earned him the respect of his colleagues." McDonough served from September 2009 as chief of staff of the National Security Staff. Prior to that job, McDonough served as deputy national security advisor for strategic communications. More information