Chautauqua logo 2013

Summer Chautauqua 2012: Speaker Bios

Laurie Anderson Sathe, Ed.D., is an assistant professor and Director of Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies at St. Catherine University. She received her M.A. and Ed.D. from the University of St. Thomas. Session C19: Creativity and Healing: Tools for Life’s Journey, Tuesday, August 14, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Marge Rogers Barrett ’68 published her chapbook of poems, My Memoir Dress, in 2011. She has also published prose and poetry in numerous journals. Barrett has taught in high schools and colleges and is a former editor of River Images for the St. Croix ArtBarn and faculty advisor of Ivory Tower for the University of Minnesota. She currently teaches at the Loft Literary Center and runs short-short story contests for Session E9: Poetry in the Parlor, Monday, August 13, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Mark Blegen, Ph.D., FACSM, is associate professor and program director for the Exercise and Sport Science Program at St. Catherine University and Co-Director, Women's Health Integrative Research Center. Session C25: Interesting Thoughts on why We Eat, Why We Don't Exercise, and Why We Should Make Our Health a Priority, Wednesday, August 15, 1-3p.m.

Breaking Free is a nonprofit organization that exists to educate and provide services to women and girls who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation and need assistance escaping the violence in their lives. The organization provides transitional housing for this target population, and community education to raise awareness about the effects of sexual exploitation. Breaking Free was established in October 1996 by Vednita Carter, founder and executive director. Session C18: Human Trafficking in Minnesota, Monday, August 13, 7–9 p.m.

Mary Ann Brenden is an associate professor and director of the baccalaureate social work program in the School of Social Work at St. Catherine University and University of St. Thomas. She earned her BS at Cornell University and MSW at the University of Minnesota. Brenden serves on the Board of NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby and on the Peace and Justice Advisory Committee of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. Session E7: The Story of Our Lady of Victory Chapel and Mother Antonia McHugh, Sunday, August 12, Noon–1 p.m.

Ruth Haag Brombach ’60 is one of the panelists for the popular Conversation with Books. She is currently alumnae liaison in the Alumnae Relations Office following almost three decades as executive director of the Alumnae Association. Session C3: Good Mysteries: Let's Try Some Conversation with Books, Wednesday, August 8, 1–3 p.m.

Rafael Cervantes, Ph.D., is chair of the Communication Studies Department and co-recipient of the 2011 Faculty of the Year award. Session C22: Public Speaking – The Basics, Tuesday, August 14, 7–9 p.m.

Scott Chamberlain is a student of Costa Rican history since 1990 specializing in the country's banana industry and the urban development of Costa Rica's capital, San José. He received his MA in Latin American Studies from Vanderbilt University and pursued his doctorate in Latin American History at the University of Kansas. Session C8: Costa Rica as an Eco-Friendly Country, Thursday, August 9, 7–9 p.m.

Cass Dalglish ’66, Ph.D., is a professor of English at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, and a former journalist. Her books include Humming the Blues, Nin and Sweetgrass (finalist for a Minnesota Book Award). She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a Ph.D. from The Union Institute. Last year, she was inducted into the St. Catherine University Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Session E3: Poetry in the Parlor, Friday, August 10, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Kathleen Daniels ’73 is director of the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine University. Daniels has a master’s degree in art history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She spent nearly 20 years teaching, running an art gallery and working in marketing before coming back to St. Catherine to oversee the University’s fine arts collection. Session C5: Peeking Behind Sealed Doors: The University’s Fine Art Collection, Thursday, August 9, 10 a.m.–noon.

Norita Dittberner-Jax ’66 is a poet whose work has been widely published in small press magazines. Her first collection of poems, What They Always Were, won the Minnesota Voices Competition and was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award. She is the recipient of a number of writing awards and is featured in Thirty-Three Minnesota Poets. She is a former English teacher for St. Paul Public Schools and currently serves as a consultant to the district. Session E1: Poetry in the Parlor, Wednesday, August 8, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Mary Esch has been a popular art instructor in the Alumnae Relations Office’s Lifelong Learning classes over the years. She is a professional fine artist focused on providing adult education. Her personal art practice includes landscape painting and drawing in open air, serial drawings that re-interpret well known classic fairy tales, portrait painting and drawing. Session: C13, Basic Sketching with Your Pencil, Saturday, August 10, 1–3:30 p.m.

Elpis Enterprises (Elpis is Greek for hope) is a St. Paul based youth development organization focusing on youth employment training and small business education. Participants "work" all areas of the business and learn, earn and profit as they go. Their business enterprises include a four-color screen-printing operation and a woodworking shop that utilizes only reclaimed and recycled wood products. Elpis' young staff members conduct hands on workshops for youth groups at their facility, as well as conducting community-building activities at offsite locations. Session E6: Bird House Building, Saturday, August 11, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Judith Martens Flahavan ’60 is one of the panelists for the popular Conversation with Books. She is a retired banking professional and English teacher. Session C3: Good Mysteries: Let's Try Some Conversation with Books, Wednesday, August 8, 1–3 p.m.

Pamela Fletcher, associate professor of English and co-chair of the Department on Critical Studies on Race and Ethnicity at St. Catherine University. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Minnesota. Session C15: Writing for Publication, Monday, August 13, 1:00–3:00 p.m.

Jack Flynn, Ph.D., is professor of geography and served the last six years as chair of the Department of History, Geography, and Political Science at St. Catherine University. His academic interests include historical geography, immigration and ethnicity, portrayal of nature and culture in art and literature, the American Southwest, and Minnesota. Session C11: Immigration History and the Creation of Ethnic Cultural Landscapes in the Twin Cities, 1970–2012, Friday, August 10, 1–3 p.m.

Gayle Gaskill, Ph.D., is professor of English and director of the Honors Program at St. Catherine University where she teaches classes in fairy tales for adults as well as Shakespeare and his contemporaries. She earned her Ph.D. in Renaissance English literature from the University of Minnesota with a minor in drama. She writes about Shakespeare’s sonnets and comedies. Session C23: Fairy Tales for Adults, Tuesday, August 14, 7–9 p.m.

Georgia Johnstone Greeley ’82 is an artist, vocalist and writer who lives and works in St. Paul. A Minnesota native, she earned a BA in English and Art from Saint Catherine and an MFA in writing from Hamline University. Fine-press broadsides and handmade artist's books by Greeley appear regularly in juried shows in the Twin Cities area. She has published poetry and memoir pieces in several small press magazines, and children's short stories in educational magazines. Session E13: Poetry in the Parlor, Wednesday, August 15, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Leah Hanson, Ph.D., is co-director of the Alzheimer’s Research Center at Regions Hospital. She has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. Her expertise includes the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, and how lifestyle changes, including exercise of the body and mind, can prevent memory loss associated with aging. She is currently the principle investigator of The Minnesota Memory Project. Session C7: Beyond Crossword Puzzles: Strategies and Tips for Healthy Brain Aging, Thursday, August 9, 3:15–5:15 p.m.

Nancy Heitzeg, Ph.D. is professor of sociology and co-director of the Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity Department at St. Catherine University. She received her doctorate from the University of Minnesota. Her recent publication was The High Cost of Profit: Racism, Classism and Interests Against Prison Privatization in Prison Privatization: The State of Theory and Practice. Session C6: School to Prison Pipeline, How We Have Lost a Generation, Thursday, August 9, 1–3 p.m.

Kristi Hemmer is a certified life coach by Academy of Coaching, has her M.Ed. in counseling and almost 20 years of experience ”coaching” in schools as a teacher, school counselor, and principal. Session T1: The Good Life, part 1, Friday, August 10, 1–3 p.m.

Barbara Holt is marketing communications specialist for Rimage Corporation, and is currently completing a degree in communications from St. Catherine University. She previously worked at St. Kate’s as a program manager and facilitator for curriculum design, for online and blended learning CE classes in the Leadership Institute and Continuing Education. Session C14: Transitions — Conquering the Unknown While Embracing the Possibilities, Sunday, August 12, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

Paul Imholte is known as a musical “stringman," as he sings and plays nearly a dozen traditional instruments. His featured instrument is the hammered dulcimer. Along with the hammered dulcimer and fiddle, Paul plays the guitar, banjo, mandolin, viola, harmonica, jaw harp and spoons. Session E14: Closing Event, Ice Cream Social with Music and Song, Wednesday, August 15, 7–9 p.m.

Monica Greenwell Janzen ’97, Ph.D., earned her Master’s (2003) and Ph.D. (2006) in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota. Her specialty is political and moral philosophy. Besides being a busy mom, Janzen teaches part time at Hennepin Technical College. Session C16: Everyday Ethics, Monday, August 13, 1–3 p.m.

Karen Kennelly ’56, Ph.D., CSJ, is a former history professor and academic dean of St. Catherine University. She holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in history from the Catholic University of America. Kennelly served on the congregational Leadership Team of her congregation and is president emerita of Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles. She was a member of the history committee that developed the Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America national exhibit. Session E11: Women Religious in U.S. History, Tuesday, August 14, 3:15–4:30 p.m.

Deborah Kloiber is University archivist and head of special collections at St. Catherine University. Kloiber has her M.S. in Information Science from the University of Tennessee. In 2009, she received grant funding to process and catalogue key series in the Ade Bethune Collection and contributes Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids to the Catholic Research Resources Alliance portal. Session C21: Children’s Literature: The Ruth Sawyer Collection of the University,Tuesday, August 14, 1–3 p.m.

Cecilia Konchar Farr, Ph.D., is professor of English and women’s studies at St. Catherine University. She earned her Ph.D. at Michigan State University and her B.A. at Slippery Rock State College in Pennsylvania. Her study of Oprah’s Book Club, Reading Oprah: How Oprah’s Book Club Changed the Way America Reads, was published by SUNY in 2004 followed by a collection, The Oprah Affect: Critical Essays on Oprah’s Book Club with co-editor Jaime Harker, in 2008. Session C24: Six Degrees of Harry Potter, Wednesday, August 15, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Ruth Koscielak ’78 is an award winning broadcasting pioneer and one of the most well-known radio personalities in the Upper Midwest. In a career spanning several decades, she has gone from being the breakthrough female performer on a legendary traditional broadcasting outlet to enthusiastically embracing new ways to deliver audio content. Ruth is the creator, producer and host of Ruth Today, a podcast with audio on demand available on her website and on iTunes. Session C10: Welcome to Time Shifting — Getting Information and Entertainment When It is Convenient for Us, Friday, August 10, 10–11:30 a.m.

Marybeth Lorbiecki ’81 is a writer of adult nonfiction and children's fiction and nonfiction, with a passion for the outdoors. Many of her books explore our relationship with each other and the natural world. For adults, she's written the award winning biography Aldo Leopold: A Fierce Green Fire. For children, she's written numerous titles, including: Planet Patrol: A Kids Action Guide to Earth Care. Lorbiecki is an adjunct professor of writing and children's literature at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Session E4: No Family Left Inside, Saturday, August 11, 9–11 a.m.

Catherine Pribyl Lupori is an honorary alumna and associate professor emerita of English from St. Catherine University. She is the founding director of the Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center for Women. Lupori conceived the idea of Conversation with Books and has been the central figure of this program for over 45 years. Session C3: Good Mysteries: Let's Try Some Conversation with Books, Wednesday, August 8, 1–3 p.m.

Janet Marinelli is assistant professor in the Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies program at St. Catherine University. She received her M.S. from the University of Minnesota. Session C19: Creativity and Healing: Tools for Life’s Journey, Tuesday, August 14, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Kathleen Matuska, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, is a professor and the Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy program director. She has a B.S. degree in occupational therapy, M.P.H. degree in public health, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Her past research has been related to managing fatigue for people with multiple sclerosis and creating and testing a model and measure of life balance. Session C20: Life Balance in Today’s World, Tuesday, August 14, 1–2:30 p.m.

William McDonough, Ph.D., is associate professor of theology and coordinator for the M.A. in Theology at St. Catherine University. He received his Doctorate in Theology (S.T.D. in Moral Theology) from Alphonsian Academy, Lateran University in Rome. Session C2: Fifty Years after Vatican II, Wednesday, August 8, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

National Center for STEM Elementary Education at St. Catherine University improves teacher effectiveness, advances student performance, strengthens STEM literacy and increases individual candidate appeal in competitive job markets. The Center has four areas of emphasis: teaching, research, curriculum and materials, and consulting and outreach for schools, school districts and community-based education providers. Session E7: STEM at St. Kate’s, Saturday, August 11, 1–3 p.m.

Kelly Povo '09, earned her bachelor's degree in women's studies and art history from St. Catherine University and is the chapter manager for the St. Catherine University Alumnae Relations Office. Povo is an award-winning photographer whose hand-colored images of women have appeared on cards and posters, in galleries and museums, and in her books. She has her own greeting card line, Kelly Cards, which features pictures of her friends. Session C1: Basics on How to Download Your Pictures, Wednesday, August 8, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Teresa Reardon ’84 is a coach at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans STAGES Initiative. Session C12: Home Buying 101, Saturday, August 11, 10:30 a.m.–noon.

Mary Jo Ryan Richardson ’52 has been one of the panelists for the popular Conversation with Books program. She most recently was an independent consultant. Session C3: Good Mysteries: Let's Try Some Conversation with Books, Wednesday, August 8, 1–3 p.m.

Laura Seabloom, RYT, is a registered yoga instructor and health coach and is currently completing her master’s degree in Holistic Health at St. Catherine University. Seabloom personally experienced transformation through yoga and living a holistic lifestyle and now feels honored to share her passions with others. She creates a positive, nurturing space for her students and encourages them to listen to their bodies and move at their own pace. Session E5: Gentle Yoga, Saturday, August 11, 9–10 a.m.

Nikki Swoboda is a theatre artist from Minnesota and is currently the Education Director at Stages Theater Company in Hopkins. She holds a BFA in Musical Theater performance from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and an MFA in Theater Arts, emphasis on Directing, from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has directed and/or choreographed over 70 productions to date in her career, specializing in new works and musical theater. Swoboda is former assistant professor in the Department of Music and Theater at St. Catherine University. Session C9: From Gene Kelly to Generation X: The Transformation of American Musical Theater, Thursday, August 9, 7–9 p.m.

YajCeeb Vaj(Yang Thai Vang) is a Hmong language instructor at St. Catherine University and a practicing shaman. Session C17: Hmong Culture and Shamanism in Today’s Society, Monday, August 13, 7–9 p.m.

Kristine Wessinger is St. Catherine University’s golf coach and joined the Wildcats in 2011 after spending eight years coaching at the University of Minnesota. At the U of M, she was responsible for recruiting and player development. Under Wessinger's tutelage, the 2009–2010 Gophers recorded the best average team score in school history. Wessinger also guided an NCAA qualifier and coached her to the lowest single season and career average in U of M history. Session C4: Short Game Golf Clinic, Thursday, August 9, 8:30–10:30 a.m.

Vickie Williams joined Jeremiah Program in September of 2008 and serves as an assistant professor at St. Catherine’s University in the Business Administration Department. Previously, she served as executive director of the Hallie Q Brown Community Center and director of membership for the Girl Scout Council of St. Croix Valley. She has more than ten years experience in corporate sales. Williams is a 2004 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow. She received her master’s in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Session C14: Transitions — Conquering the Unknown While Embracing the Possibilities, Sunday, August 12, 1:30–3:30 p.m.