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May 2008
 

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A Fond Farewell

BY TOM VOGEL

Emeriti status grants continued recognition to distinguished faculty members as they retire and provides a recognized way for them to maintain formal ties to the College faculty.


Karen Harwood
Associate Professor and Head of Library Technical Services
B.A. The College of St. Catherine M.A. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Karen Harwood"IF YOU'RE a librarian, there's nothing you learn that you can't use," says Karen Harwood '57, associate professor and head of library technical services. That's fortunate, because Harwood learned a lot as an undergraduate at the College of St. Catherine.

"St. Kate's is a great place for a liberal arts education," says Harwood, who joined the faculty in 1972. "Students are taught to think and be curious. When I was a student, we were encouraged to learn as much as we could, and we had good teachers, who included us in their search for knowledge."

Harwood brought that practice to her own teaching. Her courses have included "School Media Organization and, in the graduate program, "Organizational Information." "Coming to teach at St. Catherine's has been the highlight of my career," she says. "It has given me the opportunity to pass on what I've learned in my field."

As head of technical services, Harwood has had a front-row seat for the significant changes that technology has brought to library science. A recipient of one of the first computers on campus in the mid-1970s, Harwood says technology has made many things quicker, but not necessarily easier.

"Technology just keeps expanding," she says. "The biggest change — and biggest challenge — comes with material in electronic form. How do you provide it and control it like you do books?" Harwood also has participated in continuing education programs, an involvement that reflects her philosophy about the importance of libraries. "Libraries provide a service to the public," she says. "Not just to St. Kate's, but to the state and the nation."


Suzanne Molnar
Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences
B.S. College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia M.S., Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Suzanne MolnarMATHEMATICS is in Suzanne Molnar's blood. Not only has she taught the subject at St. Kate's since 1979, but she's also married to a fellow mathematician. "I was always good at math," she says. "I went right into graduate school in functional analysis after finishing my undergraduate degree. Teaching was always part of the natural flow for me."

After beginning her teaching career at the University of Oakland in Rochester, Michigan, Molnar and her husband moved to the Twin Cities. "We wanted to be in a metropolitan area where there were teaching opportunities for two mathematicians," Molnar says. Since then, Molnar has taught computer science, as well as mathematics. She also served as director of the honors program for 10 years. "It was an opportunity for me to get to know students from all disciplines," she says. "I met students who otherwise wouldn't have ever passed by my door. St. Kate's now has a mathematics/statistics requirement, but before that, we didn't meet a lot of the students on campus who weren't math majors."

She has seen other changes in her time here as well. "We provide students with more feedback now, besides just grades," she says. "They have the opportunity to show what they know beyond tests. There are so many more options now for a student in mathematics."


Carol Pavlish
Professor of Nursing
B.S. Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois M.S., Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

SINCE CAROL Pavlish began working with the Minneapolis-based American Refugee Committee in 2000, she has listened to the horrific stories of women from war-torn Somalia and has traveled to Rwanda, South Sudan and Northern Uganda, dealing with women's health issues. As a certified oncology nurse, Pavlish has spent years easing others' physical pain.

Her experiences at St. Kate's have taught her to address different kinds of suffering. "The language of nursing is physical and mental well-being," says Pavlish. "But the language of human rights needs to be infused into it. And that starts with the ability to work across disciplines. The collaborative, interdisciplinary focus at St. Kate's stresses this."

Pavlish began working in healthcare in the late '60s, when she volunteered as a hospital candy striper. The pleasure she derives from helping people has led her to consider new ways to practice her profession. At St. Kate's, she's had the opportunity to work with talented people in other disciplines. "Wonderful things have come out of those collaborations," says Pavlish, who came to the College in 1978. "I now understand myself and nursing better." While at St. Kate's, Pavlish has developed a curriculum for the cross-disciplinary course "The Reflective Woman," which she taught during its inaugural year.

"It involved me stepping out of my realm, but it opened up incredible doors and got me thinking about my own profession," she says. "It expanded and deepened me." She also taught the senior capstone class "Global Search for Justice" — designed to create networks across disciplines. That endeavor led to her pursuing her Ph.D.

"The most inspiring moments of my life have happened at St. Kate's," Pavlish says. "I've loved my colleagues and my students in nursing. I will look for ways to stay connected with the College, because when you're connected to St. Kate's, you're always yearning for education. It's a very inspiring place."


Shawn Madigan, CSJ
Professor of Theology
B.A. Fontbonne College, St. Louis, Missouri M.A., Ph.D. Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Shawn Madigan, CSJEARLY IN Sister Shawn Madigan's days as a Sister of St. Joseph, she worked on a Menominee Indian reservation in Keshena, Wisconsin, an experience that opened her eyes to the lack of justice in the world. "That prepared me for working at St. Kate's, because we're big on social justice here," she says.

Madigan, who came to the College in 1985, says the faculty's blend of academic professionalism, teaching ability and camaraderie makes it a wonderful place to teach. "We're close knit, but diverse," she says. "We'll challenge one another, but also support one another." That support includes resources for research, which has enabled her to make life-changing contacts all over the world.

Currently Madigan is working on a biography about "women who have witnessed a great deal of suffering but continue to strive for a better world." In Ghana, West Africa, she learned how women's circles have transformed the culture. Last year, she visited Tokyo and met Sadako Ogato, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

"Ogato has set up hundreds of refugee camps in war-torn areas around the world, so when I spoke with her, I asked, 'How can you be so hopeful in the face of such suffering?'" Madigan says. "She said that anybody who hopes for a better world needs to look at the little bit we have accomplished — otherwise it's overwhelming. That's the kind of ongoing wisdom I've learned working at St. Kate's."


Charles Buzicky
Professor of History
B.A., M.A., Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

CHARLES Buzicky joined the College of St. Catherine history faculty in 1963. He taught generations of students and served the College in many ways. Buzicky has had a lifelong love affair with learning, a passion for languages and the arts, and, most of all, a dedication to the study of European history.

In his 20s, he was a Fulbright Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research in London, England. From 1978 to 1982, he was project director of "Project in Christian Humanism," sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project involved St. Olaf College, Luther College, St. John's University and the College of St. Catherine.

He served as chair of the History Department for more than 20 years and led many College committees. He also served for years as president of the College's chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

Among his many honors and achievements are receiving the College's Outstanding Teacher award in 1968 and 1980, and inventing the Mother Antonia McHugh Award in 1973 to celebrate the centennial of the birth of Anna McHugh, better known in generations to come as Sister Antonia. In 2005, Buzicky was named to the College of St. Catherine Centennial 100, honoring those 100 people who have most influenced the College's development in its first 100 years.


Julie Belle White-Newman
Special Assistant to the President for New Initiatives
B.S., M.A., Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

EMERITA status also will be conferred upon White-Newman. See related story.


 

 

Tom Vogel is a Minneapolis freelance writer who has worked in higher education as an instructor of literature and composition and as a communications specialist. Jack Flynn, associate professor of geography, contributed to this story.

PHOTOS BY REBECCA ZENEFSKI '09