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December 2009

CSB President Baenninger renews contract

MaryAnn Baenninger has agreed to a new five-year contract as president of the College of Saint Benedict. The term of the contract extends through June 30, 2015. Baenninger had informed the Board of Trustees in September that she was seeking employment on the East Coast for personal reasons involving her husband's health. In October, CSB began a search for a new president. The Board recently asked Baenninger to reconsider her decision to leave the college at the close of the academic year. Circumstances changed with her husband's health and she willingly agreed to a five-year contract. See the complete news release.

Live broadcast of Concert and Midnight Mass available on Saint John's Abbey Web site

The live video broadcast of the Concert and Midnight Mass of Christmas at Saint John's Abbey will be available by going to and clicking on the Midnight Mass link. The concert begins at 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 24. Mass begins at midnight. The Concert and Midnight Mass will include: Abbot John Klassen, OSB - celebrant; the St. John's Boys' Choir - Andre Heywood, conductor; the Saint John's Abbey Schola - Axel Theimer, conductor; the Collegeville Christmas Strings - David Arnott, conductor; Fr. Robert Koopmann, OSB - organist; Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB - organist.

Advent Reflections

To celebrate Advent, the staff of CSB's Companions on a Journey Program has collected a thoughtful array of reflections from administrators, faculty, staff and students at CSB and SJU. They wanted to dig deeply into the rich scripture readings and hear how many voices in the campus communities have found a connection with the scriptures and their own daily lives. Hopefully, readers will gain a better understanding of how scripture fits into daily life and discover the many common experiences among us. Offering these reflections also gives readers the opportunity to practice taking the time - even if it's two minutes - to stop, be quiet and listen to the voice of the spirit. Read the reflections.

See for yourself the annual Saint John's Christmas tree installation

Every year, the Saint John's community cuts a large evergreen tree from its Arboretum to install in the Great Hall. Students, faculty, staff, monastics, guests and family members alike have often wondered, "How do you get such a HUGE tree into the Great Hall?" The answer: you pull it in!

See how it's done in this video:

How Your Son/Daughter Can Get the Most out of Winter Break

By CSB/SJU Career Services

The end of the semester has arrived and students are ready for a break. One thing for students to remember is that winter break is an ideal time to explore careers and build a professional network. Informational interviews and job shadow experiences provide the opportunity to do just that. With only a few weeks of break, these can require a short time commitment, yet yield significant results. Read on to learn more.

What is an information interview or job shadow?

Informational interviews are a way to obtain information about careers by talking directly to a person currently working in that field. Many information interviews are conducted in person, but the conversation may also be held over the phone. A typical information interview lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.

A job shadow can be done on its own or as a next step after an information interview. Conducting a job shadow will allow your student to observe the work environment and job duties of a particular career. Shadow experiences can range from one day, to a few days, to a week or longer depending on the individual and the occupation being explored.

Why are these valuable?

First and second year students generally pursue information interviews and job shadow experiences to learn more about careers and to determine if the career is a good fit for them. Some students will also use this information to help decide on a major field of study. Third and fourth year students can certainly receive the same benefits as younger students, but also use these opportunities to network and make connections within the career field of their choice. It is not uncommon for students to learn of internship or full-time job opportunities through information interviews and job shadow experiences.

How can your student find people to interview or shadow?

Here are three good tactics your student can use:

  • Talk with friends, relatives, parents of friends or neighbors involved in the field. They can talk with your student about their occupations or refer your student to a potential contact.
  • Contact Saint Ben's and/or Saint John's alumni through the Career Alumni NEtworking (CANE) files which are located in the Career Resource Centers on both campuses. These alums look forward to talking with current students and answering questions they may have about possible careers or fields of study.
  • Professors and Career Counselors may be able to suggest names of people to call.

What can students do to prepare?

  • Learn and read as much as they can about the career. An easy place they can start is the Career Services Web site ( under the "Exploring Majors and Careers" section. The Career Resource Centers on the SJU and CSB campuses also house lending libraries with information on various industries and career fields.
  • Write down questions that arise during research and take these questions to the information interview. Information interview questions should be open-ended, starting with words like "how," "what," "why," "when," and "in what way."
  • Visit for a list of potential questions to ask during an informational interview, an online workshop, and tips on contacting and following-up with contacts.

SJU student makes magic

Illusionist Jared Sherlock, a junior at Saint John's University, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, and Saturday, Jan. 23, in Escher Auditorium, Benedicta Arts Center of the College of Saint Benedict. Sherlock's show, Night Games , fuses modern magic and illusions with comedy, dancing, storytelling and rock concert lighting to create a modern day variety show. Critically acclaimed for its collaborative and affecting performances, the company features a high energy and eclectic show for the young and young at heart. Sherlock is known nationally as a new and exciting young illusionist and entertainer. Sherlock has nearly 40 CSB and SJU students, faculty and staff helping him with the production. All ticket sales from January's performances will benefit the Saint Benedict's Monastery retirement fund and Saint John's Abbey retirement fund. More information:

CSB and SJU Parent Relations invite you to check out our Web site: - your one-stop shop for resources, news and information about CSB and SJU. Here you will find:

  • Featured Departments
  • Current News
  • Parent Information
  • Ask for Help

Whether you are a first-year parent or a senior parent awaiting commencement, we welcome your feedback and offer the opportunity to share comments about your experience at CSB/SJU. CSB/SJU Parent Relations offers an on-line survey that can be completed at any time. The survey provides the opportunity for you to share any concerns, questions, likes and dislikes you may have about your daughter's or son's experience at CSB/SJU. Comments/questions are sent directly to the student development office and remain confidential.

  • CSB Parent Survey
  • SJU Parent Survey

Spring Semester Textbook Purchasing!

Textbooks will be available to purchase online from the CSB/SJU Bookstores from noon on Dec. 30, 2009 - noon, Jan. 8, 2010. We will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 10. All orders can be picked up at this time at either bookstore location. As always, you can stop by the bookstores and purchase your books as well. Why should you buy your books from us instead of finding them online? The two bookstores are institutionally owned, which means the profits that we make go back to the two campuses and are used for scholarships and campus improvements. So buying from us helps everyone on campus. Stick with us! For more information on ordering your textbooks online, visit the Web site at:

Annual fund helps secure a better future for today's students

This Christmas season, we find joy in knowing the future is bright for Saint Ben's students. Your annual support of the Saint Ben's experience is essential and allows the college to continue its rich tradition of a distinctive and purposeful education. With the year end quickly approaching, please make a gift in support of Saint Ben's students today.

Spring statements are in the mail

Please watch your mail for spring semester statements. Student Accounts mailed them on Dec. 16. The first payment is due Jan. 10.

Register for annual Red Tie Gala

Join John Gagliardi, Jim Smith and fellow SJU coaches, alumni and supporters for an evening of dinner, entertainment and socializing at the third annual Red Tie Gala to support Johnnie athletics. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, at the Northland Inn, Brooklyn Park, Minn. In addition to the silent auction, there's an opportunity this year to sponsor a sport. See details and register online at or call 320.363.2591.

Required checklist prepares students for job/internships fair

The Minnesota Private Colleges Job & Internship Fair is fast approaching: Feb. 16-17, 2010 at Minneapolis Convention Center. With participation from over 170 employers and 1,800 students, this is an event you don't want your student to miss! Job and internships fairs are a great way to network with multiple employers at one time, and in one location. Younger students often use the opportunity to network and learn about companies and future opportunities. Juniors and seniors often apply for internships and job opportunities, build networking contacts, and even have the opportunity to interview at the fair.

CSB/SJU Career Services has created a checklist for students of required steps to participate in the fair, so encourage your student to contact Career Services (Saint John's: ext. 3236, Saint Ben's: ext. 5707) as soon as possible for more information. Registrations will be accepted until Friday, Feb. 5.