Parent Update

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Annual Phon-a-thon, Wednesday, Nov. 30

We want to hear from you!

Parents/family members of our first-year students on the St. Paul campus as well as parents/family members from the Associate of Arts program on the Minneapolis campus should expect a call from one of the faculty/staff volunteers and members of the Parent and Family Advisory Council on the evening of Wednesday, November 30.

The purpose of our call is to see how well the University is meeting the needs of our students. We are asking parents to talk with their student over the Thanksgiving holiday to learn about their experience to date. The information we gather is very helping in learning how the University can better address the needs of our students. If we miss you on Nov. 30, please contact Director of Retention Ellen Richter-Norgel ( or 651.690-8730) to discuss any of your student's experiences or concerns.

Don't miss the Annual Charity Ball

The Parent and Family Association invites you and your family members for a wonderful St. Kate's tradition, an annual event that raises money for a very worthy cause. Please join students, faculty, staff and other family members for the 9th Annual Charity Ball that will take place on Friday, Dec. 9, from 7 to 10 p.m.

This semi-formal event raises money for Sarah's: An Oasis for Women, a ministry of the Sister's of St. Joseph of Carondelet, which fosters self-improvement for women in transition through life-skill development, referral and advocacy services.

How Can You Support This Event?
Please attend this family-friendly event, which includes a silent auction, live entertainment, dancing, hors d'oeuvers, ornament-making stations, an old-fashioned photo booth and more.

Participate in the auction. Please consider donating a themed gift basket, gift card or services. Silent auction donations can be delivered to the Student Center and Activities office in Coeur de Catherine, room 270, through Monday, Dec. 5, at 4 p.m.

The Charity Ball is completely organized by our students; tickets are $6 for students and $8 for guests, faculty and staff. All proceeds will be donated to Sarah's. For more information, contact advisor Brigette Marty at or call 651.690-6041.

Home for the holidays: tips for parents/families, by Heide Malat, director of counseling

This is the time of year when first-year students are making plans for Christmas break. Many students who live on campus will choose to spend the six-week break living at home. If this is the case for your family, it will be important to talk ahead of time about expectations. Why?

Because your daughter most likely has evolved into a slightly different person since she left your home four months ago. She has had many opportunities to grow on an intellectual, social and personal level. She has been practicing her independence skills and has developed a lifestyle that involves more personal freedom. Because of these changes, you may each have different ideas about how she will fit back into your home and family life. If all of you want things to go smoothly over the break, it will be important for you to talk with her ahead of time about how your family can recognize and honor those changes while being respectful to family rules.

The key to having a good break will be effective communication and building an atmosphere of respect for all involved. The December page of the Parent & Family Association resource calendar contains some wonderful suggestions for parents who are welcoming their daughters home for Christmas break. I am listing them here as a reminder. I hope your daughter’s break is filled with lots of opportunities for you and your family to relax and reconnect!

  • Your student most likely will expect to find everything just as she left it.
  • She will want parents and family members to notice and respect that she has changed and become more independent.
  • She might be trying out new things like hair styles, clothing or body art.
  • Stay calm and keep communication lines open by talking and really listening.
  • Be ready to compromise on details.
  • Recognize that changes are important to your student's development.
  • Keep your sense of humor and find a balance regarding expectations.

Source: Letting Go: A Parent's Guide to Understanding the College Years
Posted by Ellen Richter-Norgel at 11:35 AM

January courses offer practicality, variety

Although many students elect to work during January, a number of students will use January term (J-term)to conduct an internship, study abroad or enroll in a course. Students who enroll in a course may do so to catch up on academic credits or to stay focused on academics during the extended break. Tuition for J-term courses are considered part of a student's winter semester; financial aid that is awarded for winter term applies to courses taken during J-term.

Students on the Minneapolis campus may choose a range of courses offered both online and on-campus. In addition to Exercise Science courses, St. Paul students may want to consider the following:

Career Development for Women, INDI 2000 offers students who may be deciding on their major to go through a process that helps understand values, skill and interests related to academic majors and career paths. Upper-class students find this course especially helpful as they prepare for internships, job search and graduate schools. The course is practical and useful for students at any stage. Offered on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Personal Financial Fitness, INDI 2010 is a two-credit course designed for first- and second-year students (upper-class students should talk with instructor Trudy Landgren if interested). This valuable course teaches the basics of money management: budgeting, understanding credit scores, financial products, insurance basics, financial aid and financing college, investing, saving plans and much more. This course teaches students financial management skills for a lifetime. This two-credit course will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Applied Trigonometry, Math 2992 will cover topics such as right triangle and unit circle trigonometry, trigonometry identities, solving trigonometric equations, vectors, cross product, dot product and other vector mathematics. The course will also make connections to applications of trigonometry in physics and other mathematics courses. This course is recommended for the student who has not had trigonometry in high school or the student who needs to review trigonometry before taking a physics or calculus course. This two-credit course is offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11:15 a.m.

Other courses include:
Exercise Science courses including First Aid, Weight Training and Conditioning.
See the Registrar's home page for more detail.

Student interns share highlights

Three of our star student interns were featured at the recent Parent and Family speaker series, "How to Support Your Student's Career Development" (pictured, from left): Rebecca Nguyen, international relations and political science, intern at the office of Gov. Mark Dayton; Pa Vang, public health, intern at the American Cancer Society; and Alison Marson, healthcare sales, intern at Owens and Minor.

Tina Wagner, associate director of Career Development, presented parents and students with a comprehensive overview of programs and services available to students all through their years at St. Kate's and beyond. She specifically addressed the importance of having a strong liberal arts foundation for competing in today's economy and how to market those skills/knowledge.

The three student interns shared the various responsibilities they had in their internships including writing memos and working on policy issues for the governor's office, advising individuals and groups on cancer risks and prevention, and selling medical equipment to hospitals and observing surgeries.These impressive young women provided great advice to their peers.

If you missed this presentation, you can view the podcast by going to: to Select "Parent and Family Speaker Series."

Important holiday news from Residence Life

December and January Break
The end of the semester is quickly approaching. If your student lives on campus, please review the following information.

  • The residence halls, with the exception of Alberta and Georgia Apartments, close at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 21. If your student needs to stay on campus at any time during the December break (Dec. 21 to Jan. 1, 2012), she must complete the Break Housing Request Form. This form is available on our internal website, and your student will receive a link to the form via email on Dec. 1. Forms are due by Friday, Dec. 9.
  • Students who are  not approved for break stay will have no access to their living space between Dec. 21 and Jan. 1, 2012. Although your student does not need to pack all her belongings, she should bring the items she’ll need while away on break.
  • The residence halls reopen on Sunday, Jan. 1, at noon. Residents can stay in their room during the January term, even if they are not enrolled in a January class. If it’s mid-January and you’re ready to send your student back to campus, she’s welcome to return to her room; no prior arrangements need to be made with us.
  • Winter semester begins on Monday, Jan. 30, 2012.

Resident Advisor Applications for 2012-13
We hope you will encourage your student to apply for a residence life staff position for 2012-13. Resident Advisors receive room, board and a small stipend as compensation for this very important leadership position. Additionally, Resident Advisors learn transferable skills that many employers seek such as leadership, time management, mediation, and crisis management skills.

Applications will be available in mid-December. Job descriptions, the hiring time line and other position information will be available on the Residence Life internal website in mid-December.

It’s been a great semester. We truly hope your student enjoyed living on campus this semester, and we look forward to her return and another fantastic semester!

Citizen Katie: community service project

Over 100 residence hall students volunteered in the community as part of Residence Life's annual Citizen Katie Day. The enthusiastic students pictured at right were cleaning and clearing debris near the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.