Parent Update

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Orientation was a great success!

The University welcomed over 5,300 new and returning students to St. Kate's on Wednesday, September 7. First-Year Orientation helped new students learn about important University resources, meet their classmates and find out how best to prepare for classes. Orientation also provided parents with important information on the transition process of launching a student into college. Student evaluations indicate that Orientation met its goals and that students established many new friendships.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tips for students experiencing homesickness

Now that classes have started, your daughter has begun to create her niche at St. Kate’s. She is meeting many people and encountering new ideas and activities in an unfamiliar environment.

I hope things are going smoothly for your daughter. It's not uncommon, however, for new students to encounter a few bumps in the road during this time of transition. College can seem like an exciting adventure or a scary challenge – or both, depending upon the day, or the hour.

How you and your daughter respond to the first year of college will depend on your temperaments and life histories. For your daughter, it may help to know that some of the difficulties she will experience are part of a normal developmental process and have been survived by many before her.

Homesickness is common during the first year of college. I describe it as a longing to be in a familiar, safe, secure place without having to face changes and challenges that you aren’t sure you can manage. The “symptoms” of homesickness may be slightly different and may emerge at different points in the semester for each individual depending on her own personality and style. It may manifest itself as tears and sadness, for example, or as irritability and anger. It may show up right away or after the excitement of a new beginning wears off, or when tests loom and “life gets real.”

The very name “homesick” has been used to belittle or minimize a feeling that is a very real part of an important developmental process as young adults learn to trust themselves and cope with change. From the time they are born, children work to develop their own sense of identity, to discover who they are and what they can do in the world. Parents help them in this process by allowing their children to have

incrementally more independence and autonomy as the child develops into a young adult. Transitioning to college is part of this process and the parental approach of encouraging independence while maintaining a helpful, nurturing attitude will continue to be helpful. This concept can help guide parents to react to their daughter's homesickness in a healthy way.

Helpful tips to share with your student:

  • Allow your student to feel homesick…it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Most students are surprised when it happens. Let your student know it’s normal to feel this way. 
  • Get involved…keep busy. Immersing herself in classes, a new club, or Butler Center with a friend are great ways to make the transition.
  • Settle in...encourage her to personalize her residence hall room to make it a place she feels really “at home."
  • Talk to someone she trusts….her RA, her Complex Coordinator, or her academic advisor are all great resources. Plan a date to go home….but not too soon. We suggest staying on campus for the first six weeks. Just having a visit planned on the calendar will feel good, but waiting a while is best. In the meantime, encourage her to take advantage of all the Student Center and Activities calendar events…especially on the weekends. 
  • Ask for help...make an appointment in the Counseling Center if homesickness interferes with her studying or sleep.
If you have any questions or concerns about what your daughter is experiencing, please call the counseling center to consult with one of our psychologists. We may have suggestions for handling a particular situation or be able to guide you to other resources. Phone number is 651.690-6805.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Parent and Family Speaker Series: You are Invited

Listed below are the Parent & Family Speaker Series events for 2011-12. Parents are welcome to invite their student to attend presentations with them. Please RSVP to Ellen Richter-Norgel at, or phone 651.690-8730. All events are free.

Fall Semester

Financial Steps to College Success
Presenter: Tiffany Kirk, Education Coordinator, Wings Financial
Date: Saturday, October 8, 2011, 10-11:30 a.m., Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de Catherine (continental breakfast included.)
This engaging presentation will show you the steps to take to ensure healthy money habits during the college years. Tiffany Kirk will share her knowledge and wisdom on discerning needs from wants, how our early messages about money impact our behavior and how to avoid financial challenges during college. Don’t miss this important event co-sponsored by St. Kate’s Money Management Program and the Parent and Family Association.
Note: This event takes place during St. Kate’s Family Weekend.

How to Support Your Student’s Career Development Needs
Presenter: Kim Betz, Director of Career Development and staff
Date: Wednesday, November 9, 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: President’s Dining Room, 372 Coeur de Catherine (dessert and coffee provided)
Whether your student is a first-year or a senior, it’s never too early or late to learn about the services and programs that Career Development offers. Hear experts explain how parents can guide and advise their student into preparing for life after graduation. Staff will share information about career fairs, job shadowing, career courses and career counseling, along with suggestions for when students should utilize these services. A panel of student interns will share highlights of their internship experiences and what they learned. Encourage your daughter to attend this program with you.

Winter/Spring Semester

Study Abroad at St. Kate’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?
Presenter: Catherine Spaeth, Director of Global Studies and students
Date: Wednesday, February 8, 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: President’s Dining Room, 372 Coeur de Catherine (dessert and coffee provided)
Is your globally minded student considering study abroad? Join us for an interactive session on study-abroad opportunities for a semester, year, J-term or summer, presented by the Office of Global Studies and a panel of returnee study-abroad students. Planning ahead for these experiences is important.

(Note: The Study Abroad Fair will take place Monday, February 13, 2012, from 11 a.m.–2 p.m., in Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de Catherine. The fair is a unique opportunity to meet and talk with representatives from the study-abroad programs we offer. Encourage your student to attend.)

Fireside Chat with Vice Pr esident for Enr ollment Management & Student Affairs
Presenter: Brian Bruess
Date: Wednesday, March 7, 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: Fireside Lounge, Rauenhorst/Morrison Hall (dessert and coffee provided).
Enjoy an informal conversation with Vice President Brian Bruess as he shares information about the University’s strategic plan, what our Master Space Plan has in store for our campuses and the new initiatives taking place at the University. This is a perfect opportunity to ask questions, share perceptions, enjoy the company of other parents and interact with members of the Parent and Family Association Council. A fun, relaxing evening is in store!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Reminder of Health Insurance Waiver Deadline: Friday, Sept 23

St. Catherine University requires all undergraduate degree-seeking students to carry a health insurance plan. In order to ensure that all students have coverage, each student is automatically enrolled in and billed each semester for the University-offered plan from Aetna Life Insurance Company.

Students can waive out of this insurance plan if they are already covered by another comparable policy. Complete the waiver online:

Students will enter their St. Kate's ID number and birth date in order to log in to the waiver form. Once logged in, they must verify their current insurance provider's company name and policy number.

The deadline to complete the waiver process is Friday, September 23. Those who waive the coverage by the deadline date will see a $797 credit posted to their student account.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Curt Galloway, named Dean of Students

Curt Galloway has served St. Catherine University for 19 years in increasingly more demanding positions. In his new role as Dean of Student Affairs, Curt will assume direct responsibility for the leadership of the Office of Student Affairs and the Student Affairs departments.

The primary role of the dean is to serve as a liaison for students to the University administration and help cultivate a vibrant campus environment focused on student learning. Curt’s experience in student affairs and service to the University as Director of Student Life and Associate Dean for Student Affairs, along with his consistent commitment to creating a responsive learning environment for students, positions him well to be successful in his new role. This promotion is an acknowledgement of Curt’s abilities and accomplishments and an accurate reflection of work he’s already doing.

As the Dean, Curt will provide leadership for the following areas: Office of Student Affairs, Associate Dean for Students and Multicultural Education (Career Development, Community Work and Learning, Multicultural and International Programs and Services, O’Neill Center for Academic Development), Counseling (St. Paul), Counseling and Student Development (Minneapolis), Early Childhood Center, Health and Wellness Center, Residence Life, Student Center and Activities and Student Life (Minneapolis).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Family Weekend: Oct 7-9, 2011

Tiffany Kirk
Family Weekend is a great event for everyone in the family – parents, siblings, grandparents. This year’s schedule of events is sure to please. Take a look at the full schedule »

Make sure you don't miss the first program in the Parent and Family Speaker Series, "Financial Steps to College Success" with Tiffany Kirk, education coordinator at Wings Financial. Join us on Saturday, October 8, from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Coeur de Catherine Ballroom.

Tiffany will facilitate an engaging discussion for parents and students on how to develop healthy money habits during the college years. She has much to share from her own experience and will help us understand how early messages about money impact the way in which we make financial decisions.

The program is free and a continental breakfast will be served.

This program is co-sponsored by the Parent and Family Speaker Series and St. Kate’s Money Management Program.