March 13, 2024 Newsletter


St. Thomas Names Dr. Amy Smith New School of Education Dean

Amy Smith headshot.
The University of St. Thomas has selected Dr. Amy Smith – a veteran educator who has helped the university drive several initiatives designed to grow Minnesota's teacher pipeline and remove barriers to student success in the classrooms – as the next leader of its School of Education. Smith's appointment as dean is effective immediately. She…
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NSF Discovery Scholars Build Community and Advance Research

A group of 7 students laugh and talk as they walk across a grass area on the St. Thomas campus
In fall 2022, St. Thomas was awarded a six-year, $1.5 million NSF S-STEM grant to provide financial support for students interested in key STEM fields. S-STEM grants are specifically intended to increase the country's research science workforce by funding scholarships and academic support for talented undergraduate students with unmet financial need. With the grant, the…
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High Marks for Tommie Athletics Finishing Conferences

2024 Winter Playoff Teams: Collage showing Men's Basketball, Men's Hockey and Women's Basketball
The University of St. Thomas women's basketball 2023-24 season came to an end on Sunday afternoon March 10, finishing the season 15-16 overall and 7-9 in conference play. The 2023-24 season marks the first 15-plus win season for the Purple in the Division I era and ties the most conference wins – seven – in a season since joining the Summit League.

Men's basketball finished on Monday and also tied for the most conference wins in a season – nine for the men – since joining the Summit League. When it comes to men's hockey, the Tommies finished the season at second place in the regular season, up from seventh place last season.

UP NEXT: The St. Thomas baseball team will travel to Greeley, Colorado, and open conference play against Northern Colorado in a three-game series from March 15-17.


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International Graduate Student Finds Community at St. Thomas

Victor Oshiomah headshot.
When Victor Oshiomah started his college education, he never imagined he would be going back to school for a career change at a university thousands of miles from his home country. Oshiomah grew up in Nigeria, where he decided to study civil engineering, as he considered a career in construction. During his second year, his…
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Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan on campus
The holy month of Ramadan began Sunday evening and will continue through April 9. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and is a holy month of fasting, charity, prayers and self-reflection for Muslims. St. Thomas wishes those celebrating the occasion an easy fast and a happy holiday. Please visit the Muslim Student Life page to find links to resources St. Thomas provides during Ramadan.

For breaking the fast with community, there will be several iftar dinners sponsored by different divisions or organizations at St. Thomas. More information on each one can be found on the Ramadan at St. Thomas webpage. These communal Ramadan dinners are a chance to engage in enriching discussions, celebrate cultural traditions and strengthen community bonds in the spirit of the blessed month.

St. Thomas Takes Steps to 'Reduce the Rancor'

Attendees at the kickoff Reduce the Rancor event.
In an effort to help foster civility and diminish political polarization, the University of St. Thomas co-hosted the kickoff event for the statewide initiative, Reduce the Rancor. The university, in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Braver Angels, seeks to elevate discourse and reshape perspectives on political differences without altering individuals' views on the issues themselves.…
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ALL IN for St. Thomas Voters

Student with a voting sticker.
The University of St. Thomas Civic Engagement, Voter Education and Advocacy (CEVEA) task force in the Center for the Common Good scored 35 out of 36 in this year's ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and the voter-friendly campus initiative. All action plans with a score of at least 31.5 or more points receive a seal…
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Tales from the Archives: The Evolution of Public Safety at St. Thomas

Safety and Security officer standing by a vehicle.
Every day, encounters with the Public Safety officers at St. Thomas span a wide spectrum, from routine tasks such as jump-starting a car to handling urgent situations like medical emergencies or theft reports. Over the years, the duties of these officers have undergone significant evolution, mirroring the growth and changing needs of the university. The…
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From St. Thomas Magazine

Tommies on TV: Alumni Use Degrees to Make Waves

Tommies on TV - Alumni who appeared on TV shows
Whether it's ABC's "The Bachelorette" or Netflix's "Quarterback," taking a leap of faith when TV producers call can quickly spin your life in a new direction. Some alumni who said yes to appearing on reality TV or a docuseries, credit their University of St. Thomas education for laying the foundation for their career trajectory. "You…
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University Events

March 14: Justice Alan Page to Speak on Campus

Finding Forward with Justice Alan Page
Retired Justice Alan Page, a former Vikings player, will be the university's keynote speaker at the Finding Forward taking place on campus, starting at 4:30 p.m. on March 14 at the O'Shaughnessy Educational Center (OEC) auditorium. Page will join President Rob Vischer for a conversation about leadership and collaboration in an age of polarization. The event gets underway at 4:30 p.m.
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March 16: Listen to Concert Inspired by Campus Art

Embodied The Earthly Immortal Soul and the Battle of Becoming (2)
In partnership with the Claritas Initiative, the next event of the Chapel Arts Series will take place on Saturday, March 16, at 7 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas. The music for this concert will be inspired by themes expressed within the permanent art exhibit on display in the Iversen Center for Faith by artist Kelly Kruse, "Embodied: The Earthly Immortal Soul and the Battle of Becoming." This event is free and open to the public.

March 18: Prepare for Spring Planting

For anyone thinking ahead to spring planting, the 2024 Biology Plant Sale online ordering will open on Monday, March 18. The annual spring plant sale will offer vegetable and tomato starts, herbs, annual flower and Minnesota native perennials. Orders can be placed at the online marketplace beginning on March 18 at 8 a.m.
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March 19: Cultivate Wellness With Meditative Practice

What is the relationship between our mental health and our spirituality? In this program, Zen student and teacher Busshō Lahn draws upon insights from the Zen Buddhist tradition to address the connection between mental wellness and curious self-awareness. The free event is Tuesday, March 19, at noon in the Iversen Center for Faith. Registration is encouraged.
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March 20: Gather Online for Pray It Forward

Pray It Forward promotional image
The St. Thomas Office for Mission is pleased to offer Pray It Forward, an opportunity for alumni, families, faculty, staff and friends of St. Thomas to join us for 15 minutes on the third Wednesday each month to pause, gather online and pray. Pray It Forward will include the Gospel reading for the upcoming Sunday, a brief reflection and offering of intentions. Register and join for the next session on March 20 at 11:30 a.m.
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March 20: Examine Connections Between Literature and Climate

The English Department is pleased to host Dr. Caroline Levine as the speaker for its annual Paul Hague Distinguished Writer Award. Levine is the David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of Humanities at Cornell University. In her lecture, titled "Studying the Novel in the Climate Crisis, or a Tale of Three Pipelines," Levine asks if the study of literature can help us to address climate change. The lecture is Wednesday, March 20, at 7 p.m. in McNeely Hall 100.
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March 21: Law Expert Speaks on Religious Freedom

The Murphy Institute is hosting Professor Helen Alvare (George Mason University) for a presentation on themes from her 2022 book, Religious Freedom after the Sexual Revolution: A Catholic Guide. The book analyzes the Church's work in matters relating to sex, sexual identity, marriage, parenting and abortion. The program is free and open to the public. The event is Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m. inside OEC auditorium.
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Seen Around St. Thomas

Will DiSessa, a biology major, enjoys a sunny warm day hanging out in a hammock on south campus in St. Paul. (Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas)

In the News

Media Highlights:
Julie Gerend, finance professor at the Opus College of Business, was recently featured on the KARE 11 "Your Money" show to provide insight into how the stock market works.

Sister Mary Micaela Hoffmann, theology instructor at The Saint Paul Seminary, recently shared her insights with The Catholic Spirit on discovering her vocation and discernment within the Church.

Ali Ling, civil engineering professor at the School of Engineering, joined Minnesota Public Radio to discuss her latest research, which focuses on the costs of removing harmful PFAS chemicals from the environment.

The John P. Monahan Gallery – located on the first floor of the recently opened Schoenecker Center – has opened its inaugural exhibit. MPLSART spoke with Victoria Young, art history professor at the College of Arts and Sciences, and Marria Thompson, curator of the collection.

Read more St. Thomas "In the News" stories.

In Case You Missed It

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Know of anything or anyone interesting around the university that would make for a good Newsroom feature story? Let us know at

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