Professional notes

The Minnesota College Personnel Association held its fall conference Oct.16-17 at William Mitchell College of Law. MCPA 2008-09 board members include University of St. Thomas staff members: treasurer Josh Hengemuhle, Campus and Residence Life, (treasurer); New Professionals co-chair Tasia Tigue, Campus and Residence Life; and graduate student liaison Gretchen Switalski, School of Education. The Conference Planning Committee members included UST staff members Bryan Helminiak, Campus and Residence Life; Tonia Jones, Multicultural Student Services; UST graduate students Kelly Hussong, Saif Ullah, Miranda Heinonen, Ashley Bowes and Alison Spannaus; and Hengemuhle.

Conference presenters from St. Thomas and their presentations included:

  • Denise Dieffenbach, Multicultural Student Services, "An Insider’s View: Demystifying Multicultural Centers on College Campuses"
  • Dean of Students Office staffers Jessica Lauritsen, Karen Lange, and James Sachs, "Thou Shalt Not Steal … or Illegally Download"
  • Mary Ann Ryan, Campus and Residence Life, and Victoria Svoboda, Office of the Dean of Students, "An Examination of Rebuilding Campus Community: The Wrong Imperative and Student Affairs’ Response"
  • Ryan and Jane Canney, Student Affairs, "Leading in the Face of Chaos: Insights and Tips from Senior Student Affairs Officers for Future Student Affairs Leaders."  
  • School of Law staff members Ashley Bowes, Cathy Powell Finnegan and Alanna Moravetz, "Discovering your Authentic Leadership"
  • Tasia Tigue co-chaired the "New Professionals Commission Roundtable."

Sachs’ session, "Political Activism and Free Speech: What Can You Do and What Gets You in Trouble?" received the 2008 Conference Best Program Award.

Sister M. Christine Athans, B.V.M., professor emerita, The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, has an article published in the Nov. 2008 issue of the New Theology Review titled "Judaism and Catholic Prayer: A New Horizon for the Liturgy." She currently is chair of the Catholic-Jewish Scholars Dialogue for the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Chicago Board of Rabbis and the Jewish Federation, and is adjunct faculty at Catholic Theological Union and Loyola University.

Father James Burns, Graduate School of Professional Psychology, has been invited to present at the Oxford University, Lincoln College, 20th Anniversary of the Oxford Roundtable Discussions on "Ethics: The Convolution of Contemporary Values" in March 2009. Burns also has been selected to participate in the Samaritan Institute’s three-year Clergy and Congregation Care Group program for clergy leaders, funded through the Samaritan Institute’s grant from the Lilly Endowment.  

Burns also recently presented "Ministry Seeking Understanding: Assessing the Impact of  Traumatic Experiences in Roman Catholic and Other Clergy" in October at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion annual conference in Louisville, Ky.; a poster presentation on "Putnam: The Birth of Scientific Neurology and Psychology in Boston" in August at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Boston; a workshop on "The Impact of Priest Mental Status and Morale On Diocesan and Parish Leadership" in July to the Leadership Institute for Executives in Catholic Education in Owatonna, Minn.; and a workshop on "Helping Clergy Achieve Integration, Healing and Wholeness After Trauma" in June to the Presbytery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston in Boston.  He was invited to present to the National Federation of Priests Councils on the impact of stress and trauma on clergy morale in September and has been requested to deliver a presentation and conduct a study of the Clergy of Region 11 of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of California, Hawaii and Nevada on clergy morale and stress in January 2009.

Burns recently was named an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion; a senior research fellow of the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion; and collaborative consultant for St. Deiniol’s Library in the United Kingdom. St. Deiniol’s Library is the only Prime Ministerial Library in the United Kingdom and has been recognized as one of the most important residential research libraries in Wales. The library has more than 250,000 books, journals and pamphlets on a wide range of subjects and specializes in theology and Victorian studies.

Larry McDonough, School of Law, will receive the Minnesota Justice Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award at the Minnesota Justice Foundation Anniversary Celebration Nov. 20 at International Market Square in Minneapolis. The award is presented to an individual who has made substantial contributions to the community through a demonstrated commitment to public interest work by promoting programs and policies that have a positive impact on society as a whole. McDonough also released a jazz CD, "Simple Gift," which has received national and international air play, and will perform as a jazz pianist at the award ceremony. McDonough is the managing attorney of the Housing Unit at the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis.

Dr. Jeri Rockett, Personal Counseling and Testing, recently contributed to a program, "What About Bob?: Working With Students With Poor Social Skills," at the annual Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors conference in Fort Worth, Texas. Rockett continues to serve as the AUCCCD continuing education coordinator/liaison to the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Daniel Tight, College of Arts and Sciences (Modern and Classical Languages Department), presented the paper, " Variation and Change in Peruvian Spanish Word Order: The Impact of Migration to Lima, " with Dr. Carol Klee and Dr. Rocío Caravedo at the 2008 Hispanic Linguistics Symposium Oct. 24 at Laval University, Quebec, Canada.

Dr. John Wendt, Opus College of Business, has been named an inaugural member of Special Anti-Doping Arbitration Panel of the Ladies Professional Golf Association. The LPGA was the first professional golf tour to institute a drug-testing program and create an arbitration program to adjudicate positive drug test results. It is collaborating with the World Golf Foundation in its initiative aimed at discouraging the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport.

Dr. Scott Wright, College of Arts and Sciences (History Department), has three essays, "John G. Diefenbaker; Prime minister of Canada (1957-1963)," "Robert W. Service; British poet and novelist" and "Fulton J. Sheen; American religious leader," published in Great Lives From History: The Twentieth Century (Salem Press, 2008).