Nov. 8, 2023 Newsletter

First-Generation Celebration Week

Did you know that more than one in four first-year Tommies are first-generation college students? St. Thomas is celebrating the contributions and experiences of our first-generation students during the week of Nov. 6. Join your fellow Tommies and celebrate through a number of activities, including a maker event, Purple Couch discussion and recognition at the men's basketball game.

Breaking Barriers: First-Generation Students Find Support, Belonging at St. Thomas

First Gen celebration event
Gaofeng Xiong '23 isn't afraid of breaking a few barriers. When the Maplewood, Minnesota, native first arrived on the University of St. Thomas campus, she knew attending college would be a barrier-breaking feat for her family. The eldest child of Hmong immigrants, she would become the first in her family to go to college. "Coming…
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Dr. Erika Scheurer Reflects on Being a First-Generation Student

Erika Scheurer in the classroom.
Transitioning to college is already a difficult challenge, but being the first to do so in your entire family is even more challenging. At the University of St. Thomas, there are staff and faculty who understand that themselves, including Dr. Erika Scheurer, who was a first-generation student and is now an incredibly respected professor. She…
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First-Gen College Students Inspire Peers, Family

DFC scholar Amber Mueller and daughter Sadie
Amber Mueller is on track to be the first in her family to graduate from college. Obtaining a degree holds an important meaning for this second-year scholar at the University of St. Thomas' Dougherty Family College. "I want to be the role model for my 6-year-old daughter that I never had growing up," Mueller said.…
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U.S. Bank and the University of St. Thomas Launch Initiative to Support Financial Well-Being

US Bank at St Thomas Career Fair
The University of St. Thomas and U.S. Bank are partnering to provide financial services and education support for Tommie students, faculty, staff and alumni. Elements of the partnership – which includes scholarship funds, a dedicated U.S. Bank coach to help the Tommie community reach their professional and personal goals, and a collaboration space – will…
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Teaching Photography to Veterans Improves Entrepreneurship Professor's Outlook on Life

Alec Johnson carrying a veteran on his shoulders to take a photo.
As yellow leaves fall, Opus College of Business Associate Professor Alec Johnson guides students who pursue their entrepreneurial dreams at the Opus College of Business. In the late summer, however, he uses photography to help military veterans heal among the towering Grand Tetons of Wyoming. Johnson's love of photography connected him to Honoring Our Veterans,…
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Tales from the Archives: Football Coach Ed Rogers

Grey and white photo of an old football team
As we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, it's fitting to shine a spotlight on a remarkable figure from University of St. Thomas' history – one of its first football coaches, Ed Rogers. Edward Lowell Rogers was born in Libby, Minnesota, to an Ojibwe mother and a pioneering lumberman. His mother gave him the name Ay-Ne-Way-We-Dung,…
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Additional News and Events

School of Education and District Partners Host Site Visit for National Center for Teacher Residencies

School of Education Site Visit table discussion
The National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) recently gathered educators and nonprofit leaders from across the country for a site visit at the University of St. Thomas School of Education. The School of Education is a network partner of NCTR, which is committed to developing, launching, supporting, and accelerating the impact of teacher residency programs.…
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Become an Advocate for Tommie Give Day

Tommie Give Day is Nov. 14, but giving has already begun! You can help rally support by becoming an advocate, connecting with your networks and raising awareness. On Tommie Give Day, the entire St. Thomas community rallies to support scholarship funding that ensures access to a whole-person education for current and future Tommies.

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Staff & Faculty Open Enrollment Ends Nov. 10

It's time to make your final decisions! Open enrollment for faculty and staff ends on Friday, Nov. 10. All benefits-eligible employees are required to elect or waive medical, dental and vision benefits for 2024 calendar year. These benefits will not carry over to 2024.

Visit the open enrollment page in the Human Resources section on OneStThomas to explore your benefit options.

Students: Apply Now to Join J-Term VISION Trips

VISION advertisement
Embark on an extraordinary journey of purpose and discovery with the J-Term VISION Program 2024! In this two- to three-week trip abroad, you'll explore the world and see issues of social justice beyond our context. Students will either visit Quito, Ecuador, contributing to the empowerment of families breaking the cycle of generational poverty, or the U.S.-Mexico border, assisting with urgent humanitarian needs. Each program allows you to volunteer with intention. Applications are open now through Nov. 16 at 4 p.m.

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Nov. 10: Join Cor Jesu at Saint Paul Seminary

Join young adults from around the Twin Cities for an evening of adoration, worship, music and fellowship. Cor Jesu is a First Friday devotion for college students and young adults that takes place in St. Mary's Chapel at The Saint Paul Seminary. Father Joseph Taphorn, SPS rector, will lead the evening on Friday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m.

Nov. 11: Interfaith Concert to Bridge Musical Traditions

The Chapel Arts Series invites you to attend a special interfaith concert featuring a dialogue between Jewish and Christian musical traditions. "Echoes of the Divine" features guitarist Chris Kachian, violinist Stephanie Arado, pianist Amy Grinsteiner and narrator David Jordan Harris. The interactive experience of concert and conversation will serve as a compelling bridge between cultures and religious traditions. The concert is free and open to the public. It's Saturday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Nov. 13: Learn About Polish WWII Survivors

You are invited to attend the opening of a brand-new photographic tribute on campus, "An Interrupted Childhood: Polish WWII Survivors in Minnesota and the Legacy of Displacement." The exhibit opens in the Iversen Center for Faith on Monday, Nov. 13, with a special program featuring St. Thomas Theology Department faculty. The program gets underway at 6:30 p.m. The exhibit will remain on view in the ICF lobby through Dec. 8.

Seen Around St. Thomas

ThreeSixty Journalism participants gather on campus, working alongside industry professionals to complete an op-ed piece about a community issue they're passionate about. (Brandon Woller '17/University of St. Thomas)

In the News

Media Highlights:
WCCO-TV recently featured the new fueling station for Tommie athletes in the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex, speaking with student-athlete Grace Forsberg, team sports dietitian Lizzy Narigon and St. Thomas alumni Alice and Nick Halvorson.

Manjeet Rege, software and data science professor, and John Abraham, mechanical engineering professor at the School of Engineering, both recently spoke with KSTP-TV about President Biden's executive order on artificial intelligence.

Alum Tom Pacholl, one of the last two surviving members of the 1948 football team, spoke to My Villager about his experiences as a player and as a fan.

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

In Case You Missed It

Keya Luta Win Hunt on Bringing Native Representation to the Volleyball Court
History Echoes: Racial Justice Initiative Sparks Urgency for Collective Action
Dean's Forum: Authors Share Their Lived Experiences with Racism

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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