May 4, 2023 Newsletter


St. Thomas Day Recognizes Six Outstanding Tommies

Nearly a century ago the University of St. Thomas handed out its very first Tommie Award. The awards have evolved since 1931, but the mission behind St. Thomas Day remains the same – to honor the extraordinary contributions of the Tommie community. This year the university held its annual St. Thomas Day on Wednesday, May…
Read more

Glimpses of Success: In Year 2 of D-I, Tommie Athletics Forges a New Path

Ahjany Lee plays against Oral Roberts in basketball.
It was a scene St. Thomas coaches, student-athletes and fans had dreamed about when the university first announced its historic Division I transition: thousands of people in a world-class arena cheering loudly for the Tommies as the they played in a postseason tournament. Never mind that most of those people weren't actually St. Thomas fans.…
Read more

Unlocking Opportunity: 13 Dougherty Family College Students Awarded Full-Tuition Scholarships to St. Thomas

Layla Siferllah-Griffin knows that someday she wants to open her own business. Full of ideas and perseverance, she has the dream and drive, but finding a path to achieve that reality has not always been so clear. As she prepares to graduate with an associate degree from Dougherty Family College at the University of St.…
Read more

First Friday: Soledad O'Brien Shares Insights on Courage, Trust and Diversity

University of St. Thomas alumna and journalist Georgia Fort '11, host of the CW's "Here's the Truth," interviewed nationally recognized journalist, documentarian and philanthropist Soledad O'Brien for the last First Friday Speaker Series of the 2022-23 academic year. In the conversation, which took place when O'Brien was in the Twin Cities for the ThreeSixty Journalism…
Read more

More News

Register by May 5 to Attend Presidential Inauguration

Please register to attend the inauguration of the 16th president of the University of St. Thomas: Robert K. Vischer. A busy day is planned for Friday, May 12, to celebrate this exciting time for our institution. Join the St. Thomas community at a Mass, community lunch, the inauguration ceremony, and a late afternoon student-run celebration with music, food trucks and entertainment.

Register here for the luncheon and the inauguration ceremony; the other events do not require registration.

St. Thomas Teams Deliver Strong Showing at e-Fest

110 entries, 300 students and 67 different universities later, the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship officially wrapped e-Fest 2023 by awarding $215,000 in cash prizes. St. Thomas team Epiblock took home $30,000 for the second-place finish. Epiblock is a mouth-inserted medical device that helps stop nosebleeds. The $50,000 grand prize was awarded to OnPoint Ventilation from…
Read more

University of St. Thomas Student Recognized on 2023 ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll

Skye Schultz headshot.
Skye Schultz is one of 175 college students recognized for her nonpartisan democratic engagement work in 2022 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (ALL IN) has recognized University of St. Thomas student Skye Schultz as part of the 2023 ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll. The ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll awards college students doing…
Read more

Standing on the Shoulders of Visionaries

The School of Engineering owes its success today to the innovative founders. Learn about the individuals who contributed to the longevity and strength of the school. Stephen Nachtsheim While still an undergraduate, Stephen Nachtsheim helped design and propose the Quantitative Methods and Computer Science (QMCS) program at St. Thomas – the first computer science major…
Read more

This Week in Tommie Sports

It's truly starting to feel like spring! Cheer on your fellow Tommies on the field this weekend.

Friday at noon | Softball vs. UMKC
Friday at 3 p.m. | Baseball vs. Oral Roberts
Saturday at 11 a.m. | Football's intrasquad spring game

Check out the full calendar.

Celebrating Those with Asian Heritage

The month of May recognizes the historical and cultural contributions of Americans who are of Asian, native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander descent. The AANHPI umbrella term includes cultures from the entire Asian continent – including East, Southeast and South Asia – and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, in addition to native Hawaiians. To learn more about the Asian American community, see the reading list and resources page from the St. Thomas libraries.

May 5: Cor Jesu at The Saint Paul Seminary

Join The Saint Paul Seminary for eucharistic adoration, confession, praise and worship music with young adults, college-age and older. Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda will preside. The gathering takes place at 8 p.m. inside St. Mary's Chapel.
Learn more

May 5: Spring Engineering Senior Design Show

Come and visit with our 24 teams of graduating School of Engineering seniors as they present the projects and prototypes they designed in partnership with industry and nonprofit organizations. The show is free and all are welcome to attend. The show runs from 3-5 p.m. on Friday, May 5, in Scooter's and the John P. Monahan Plaza.

May 6: Sikh Wisdom for Cultivating Empathy and Justice

Growing up in south Texas, Dr. Simran Jeet Singh and his brothers confronted racism daily. As a turbaned, bearded, brown-skinned Sikh, he continued to face prejudice and hate in college and beyond. At 11 a.m. this Saturday, May 6, in the outdoor amphitheater at the Iversen Center for Faith, hear Singh speak on the wisdom he has gained on what it takes to choose love over hate. His keynote address is part of the 2023 Multifaith Leadership Workshop, organized and hosted by the Interfaith Fellows Program of the Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies and co-sponsored by the Diversity Activities Board, among others. RSVP here.

May 10: SDIS Announces Awards, Scholarships

Student Diversity & Inclusion Services (SDIS) and the Diversity Activities Board (DAB) are co-sponsors of a year-end celebration recognizing award and scholarship recipients. Open to the St. Thomas community, the event will have entertainment, food and the University of St. Thomas Stomp N Shake team will perform. RSVP on TommieLink.

COVID-19 Dashboard: 4 New Cases Reported

The university reported four new COVID-19 positive cases, including three student and one employee cases, for the week ending April 28, 2023. See full dashboard details on the COVID-19 webpage.

Seen Around St. Thomas

Students pick up their caps, gowns, T-shirts and other graduation supplies during 2023 Grad Fest in the Anderson Student Center. (Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas)

Professional Notes

Janine Sanders Jones, PhD, the associate dean of academics for Dougherty Family College, was recently named associate dean for faculty scholarship, teaching and service excellence at the Opus College of Business.

Mark Narayan was recently named assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion at Opus College of Business.

Tiffany Cork, senior director of graduate business recruiting and admissions at the Opus College of Business, will become the college's assistant dean of enrollment, retention and student experience.

Dr. Bryana French has been appointed associate chair in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology of the Morrison Family College of Health.

John Olson, PhD, who joined the Opus College of Business in 2005 in the Operations and Supply Chain Department, has been named the college's associate dean of academic programs and innovation.

Read more St. Thomas professional notes.

In the News

Media Highlights: Three years after the murder of George Floyd, the final Minneapolis police officer charged in the case has been convicted. Dr. Yohuru Williams, founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas, spoke to KARE 11 about the monumental case.

Rachel Moran, an associate professor in the Law School and founder of the Criminal and Juvenile Defense Clinic, spoke with MPR about the newly formed police oversight board in Minneapolis.

Martha Alonzo-Johnsen, a clinical biology professor in Dougherty Family College at the University of St. Thomas, spoke on the "Come to Believe" podcast about the need for workforce diversity in the health professions.

Jukka Kukkonen, electrical and computer engineering instructor at the School of Engineering, recently spoke with KARE 11 about the real-world implications of owning an electric vehicle in cold climates.

Read St. Thomas "In the News" stories.

In Case You Missed It

Jodee Kozlak Selected to Chair St. Thomas Board of Trustees
Photos: St. Thomas Night at the Twins
Tommies Give Back to their Latino Community

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

facebook twitter instagram youtube email