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Rochester locations closed

(Updated Jan. 22, 8:24 a.m.) Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has closed its Rochester Community and Technical College and Cascade Meadow locations and canceled Rochester classes today (Jan. 22, 2018) due to expected extreme weather conditions. The decision to...

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Using GIS to solve global issues

Using GIS to solve global issues

Adam Pfister C’06, M’10 can’t deny that speaking to the U.N. in early December was a career highlight.

But Pfister’s career is full of highlights. As a solutions engineer on the nonprofit and global organizations team for Esri, he works closely with organizations who are solving global problems like the World Health Organization and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is successfully eradicating Polio.

A graduate of Saint Mary’s University’s M.S. in Geographic Information Science program, Pfister works for a company which is an international supplier of geographic information system (GIS) software and technology.

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Recent posts

Fighting sexual harassment

The list of high-profile men — in media, in sports, in entertainment, and in politics — who are being fired due to inappropriate sexual behavior continues to grow longer.

Susan Strauss D’07, for one, isn’t surprised.

“I guess what surprises me is that finally it’s all erupting; there are women coming forward to proclaim what they’ve experienced for years, but they had never felt safe in coming forward before,” she said. “But does it surprise me that these men are guilty of it? No, not in the least.”

Although the “#Me Too” movement is empowering women to come forward, Dr. Strauss — a national and international speaker, trainer, consultant, investigator, and an expert witness for harassment and bullying lawsuits — said the focus needs to be on how we create a culture where women are respected and no longer subjected to this harassment.

And she believes it begins with the education system.

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An entrepreneur in training

After pitching an invention to one of the executives on TV’s Shark Tank, presenting to Saint Mary’s faculty was a piece of cake.

Stephany Beck ’21 might only be a freshman, but the Entrepreneurship and Marketing double major is already finding ways to enhance her pitching skills, network with area professionals, and learn how one day she could put her name on an innovative product that could help others.

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Alumna Dr. Deb Henton named Superintendent of the Year

There’s no question what inspires Deb Henton M’95, C’96, D’99, superintendent of North Branch Area Public Schools. Actually, there are approximately 3,000 inspirations. Her students. “Whenever I can raise student achievement, that’s No. 1,” Dr. Henton said. “That’s why I come to work every day. I want to create an environment where kids have the best opportunities possible to achieve their dreams.” It’s because of this commitment, passion, and “outstanding leadership and innovative spirit” that the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) recently named Dr. Henton as the 2018 Minnesota Superintendent of the Year.

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Business background aids HR supervisor at Hormel

Angie (Pieper) Bissen ’07 describes herself as “practical.” When she was choosing a major, she thought about the type of career she could envision herself in, as well as what job opportunities would be available. At the time, accounting jobs were in high demand. As she loved numbers, an accounting major seemed … practical. Her sophomore year, she added a second major in human resources, thinking the unique pairing could be beneficial. Currently the HR programs supervisor at Hormel Foods Corporation, Bissen’s instincts were spot-on. “Businesses need to make a profit, so being able to understand the numbers and have a grasp on general business practices is extremely important, no matter what aspect of business you’re interested in,” she said.

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Testing medical devices, saving lives

As a test engineer with Medtronic, Nick Nagel ’14 is saving lives by testing medical devices before they ever come in contact with patients. For Nagel, every test, every data point, is crucial. “Testing helps us better understand why something performs as it was intended to, or may fail or stop working,” he said. “My job has a direct affect on patients, so the device needs to work the way it’s supposed to work every time.” For example, the Andover, Minn., native is currently testing ablation catheters, which doctors use on patients to interrupt unwanted electrical pathways in the heart.

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