Parent Update

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Family Weekend: a rousing success

This year's Family Weekend was well attended by Katies and their families. Family members enjoyed a competitive Trivia Contest Friday evening. On Saturday morning, over 60 family members listened to Tiffany Kirk speak on the topic of Financial Steps to College Success and left with tips on budgeting, building positive credit and the importance of savings.
A barbecue lunch and pumpkin decorating contest drew over 175 participants, and Saturday evening's a cappella group, Ball In The House, drew a crowd of 175.

Families took in the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC) Fall Art Tour in the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery and cheer on the Wildcats soccer and volleyball teams. Sunday Mass in Our Lady of Victory Chapel, followed by a brunch and performance by the St. Catherine University Women's Choir, completed the packed weekend of events.

It was great to have so many family members experience the beautiful fall weekend on campus.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Career Opportunities Fair is crucial in tight job market

Seventy-three organizations were on campus Thursday, Oct. 13, to participate in St. Kate's annual Career Opportunities Fair.

St. Catherine hosts the largest on-campus job fair of the the private colleges in Minnesota. Organizations included 3M, Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Hennepin County, Macy's, Mayo Clinic, Graybar Electric Co., MN Veterans Home, Thomson Reuters, Securian Financial Group, Peace Corps, US Bank Minnesota and Walgreens.

Given the current job market, the event was especially important this year. St. Kate's students had the opportunity to network and interview for positions in a variety of career fields that included nursing and other healthcare sectors, manufacturing, education, biotechnology, insurance, finance and banking, social services,communications media, government and human services (social work, corrections, family/child/youth).

Phillip Baumgam, recruitment director from ACR Homes, has been attending St. Kate's Career Fair for years. The students draw him back every year, he says: "They are a class act; they have done their homework. They're also really great workers. I've hired many over the years."

Ramin Rigi from Upsher-Smith Laboratories Inc., also a veteran employer participant, was recruiting for a summer sales internship position. He, too, commented on the high caliber of St. Catherine students: "They are always prepared." Liberal arts majors and professional degree students were all well served by this impressive annual event.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Support your student's career development

Don't miss this wonderful presentation for parent/family members and their student, Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in room 372, Coeur de Catherine.

In this tight economy, students need to prepare themselves for a competitive job market. Whether your student is a first year or a senior, join us to learn about the important services and programs that will equip your student for success after college.

Hear from the experts what parents can do to help guide and support their student. Staff will share information about career fairs, job shadowing, career courses, career counseling and more. A panel of student interns will share highlights of their internship experiences.

Coffee and dessert included. RSVP by Nov. 4 (required) to Ellen Richter-Norgel: or 651-690-8730.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spotlight on Dining Services

Sodexo General Manager Eric Goodrich and Retail Operations Manager Theresa Cianni presented highlights of St. Kate's dining options and addressed questions at a recent Parent and Family Association Advisory Council meeting.

  • Sodexo is helping students monitor their points by posting signs that indicate how many points they should have at any given point in time to ensure they have enough to last through the semester;
  • Most first-year students use up their points by the end of the semester;
  • Sodexo makes special efforts to purchase from local farmers/distributors on a seasonal basis. November 3, 2011, is dedicated to local farmers with a special menu that highlights the produce;
  • Sodexo also offers several incentives that produce less waste. The Eco-Clam Shell ($5) allows students to purchaase a reusable plastic container to be used in the cafĂ© instead of using a to-go box. The Beverage Cup ($7.99) allows students to buy a reusable plastic tumbler and reusable straw; it can be used for unlimited fountain beverage refills for the day, for $2.99.
Sodexo also responds to the varied dietary needs and preferences of the student body including gluten-free foods,an organic line that is offered in Marketplace and a gourmet salad bar

Sodexo recognizes that some students want/need to know specifics about the menu such as ingredients and calorie count. The website provides information about menus, how to monitor points, meal plan options and descriptions, and more. Balance mind, body and soul gives St. Kate’s students access to Sodexo’s biggest nutrition resource. The site gives healthy recipes, helps them look up nutrition information, and provides access to Sodexo's registered dieticians who can answer their questions.

Finally, Sodexo offers a program called “Treats from Home” for families to send their student a special treat year-round. The site has a downloadable flier which family members can use to order birthday cakes and special treats for students. Sodexo has also partnered with 1-800 to offer Gift University, which also allows family members to send gift baskets to their favorite Katie.

Common adjustment issues for November

First-year college students go through some common adjustment issues during November:

  • Anxiety about midterm grades
  • Excitement or anxiety about going home for Thanksgiving
  • First series of campus-wide illness (colds, flu)
  • Time-management issues trying to balance the demands of school, work, family, and social life
  • Roommate challenges may intensify.

If your student is living on campus, encourage her to talk with her RA if she is experiencing these symptoms. She can also talk with her academic advisor about her grades and balancing study demands with the rest of her obligations.

Students can also visit the Counseling Center by appointment or in a walk-in time slot. St. Paul campus: 690-6805; Minneapolis campus: 690-7830.

(For more information, see Helping your First-Year College Student Succeed, by Richard Mullendore and Cathie Hatch, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Give to St. Kate's Day: It's back!

Tuesday, Nov. 15, is the second annual Give to St. Kate’s Day. This is a one-day online giving campaign to raise contributions to the St. Catherine University Annual Fund.

As parents, you no doubt are aware of how tuition impacts your family budget. Believe it or not, the tuition that you and your daughter pay to the University covers approximately 75 percent of what St. Kate’s needs annually to maintain our academic excellence and the student experience that your daughter enjoys. Gifts to the Annual Fund support such things as faculty development, technology upgrades and library resources.

Hundreds of caring and generous alumnae, faculty, staff and friends of the University are financially supporting your daughter’s education. On Nov. 15, as part of Give to St. Kate's Day, students (including your daughter) will be invited to write notes of gratitude to the donors who contribute. Please encourage your daughter to stop by the table in the Coeur de Catherine atrium to learn more about Give to St. Kate’s Day and to write a note of thanks to a donor.

The goals of Give to St. Kate's Day this year are:
  • 100 new donors
  • 100 donor increases
  • 20 new members of the President's Forum (donors who contribute at least $1,500 each year to the Annual Fund)
The University has secured $60,000 in challenges from a few wonderful donors. This means that each new donor and each increase in a current donor’s level of giving will help St. Kate’s earn an additional $200. This year, those who join the President's Forum with a gift of $1,500 or more will help St. Kate’s earn an additional $1,000!

For more information about the Annual Fund and additional ways to support the University, go to or contact Stacy Rooney, director of the Annual Fund, at 651-690-8861 or

Friday, October 14, 2011

Important dates and reminders for parents

October 30: Payment in full due for fall term. Refer to the Summary of Financial Procedures for more detail on Standard and Installment Payment Options. Visit and type Student Accounts in the search bar. Link to PDF file on Summary of Financial Procedures.

October 31: 1 percent finance charge is assessed for any fall term balance. (Reminder: Parents may ask their student to set them up as an "authorized user" on KatePay, which allows them to have access to their student's on-line student account activity and billing. Students need to go the Student Tab, click on KatePay under Student accounts, then click on Authorized User and select Add An Authorized User and follow the prompts.)

November 2: Midterm grades are due. Midterm grades provide students with a mid-point review of how they are doing. Students who are dissatisfied with their progress should talk with their professors to learn how they can improve. If a faculty member does not post a mid-term grade, encourage your student to speak directly to that instructor so she can assess her progress.

November 9: Speaker Series event: How to Support the Career Development Needs of Your Student, 7 p.m., 372 Coeur de Catherine.

November 14-December 1: Early Registration Period for winter semester 2012.

Advising To-Do's for your student:
  • Students will want to check for any HOLDS to make sure they are clear to register. They can do this by viewing KateWay.
  • Academic advisors are expecting students to contact them to meet about next-semester courses. Students will also use this meeting time to discuss any concerns about mid-term grades, information about intended majors and other questions.
  • Upperclass students will want to talk about the best time to conduct an internship, and learn about any research or teaching assistantships that are available in their major
The Office of Academic Advising has professional advisors who can meet with any student if her assigned academic advisor is not available.