Parent Update

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Honors and Awards 2013

2013 Honors and Awards Ceremony

One of St. Catherine University's major year-end celebrations, the Honors and Awards Ceremony, will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, in Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de Catherine. The ceremony recognizes students for their academic and co–curricular achievements. A special part of the ceremony is the announcement of recipients who've earned an All-University Student Leadership Award.

The ceremony recognizes Associate, Baccalaureate and Graduate students. Parents and family members are invited to attend. No RSVP is required, but arrive early for a good seat!

Spring Semester May Bring Anxiety

As a regular feature in Parent Update, we like to provide you with a list of common adjustment issues that first-year students typically describe at this time of year. (Source: Helping your First-Year College Student Succeed, Richard Mullendore and Cathie Hatch, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.)



  • Anxiety about midterm exams
  • Anxiety about finding a roommate for next year
  • Excitement and/or disappointment regarding Spring Break plans
  • Concern over winter weight gain


  • Spring fever
  • Burned-out feeling
  • Signing up for housing for fall semester
  • Concern over declaring a major


  • Final exam anxiety
  • Stress over moving when semester ends
  • Ambivalence about returning home for summer
  • Sadness over leaving new friendships and/or new romantic relationships at school
  • Concern about finding summer employment
  • Beginning to realize how college will influence future life decisions 
Although these issues may be common, they aren't necessarily easy to handle. Students may find that these issues can interfere with studying and academic goals.

The Counseling Center staff is available to meet with students on either campus to discuss concerns and identify helpful coping strategies. (Counseling Center St. Paul campus, 690-6805; Counseling and Student Development Center Minneapolis campus, 690-7830)

Learn About Our Lady's History

"Chapel Talk: The Architecture and Unique Features of Our Lady of Victory Chapel"
Sunday, April 21st, 1-2:30 p.m., Our Lady of Victory Chapel

Associate Professor of Social Work Mary Ann Brenden has conducted extensive research on the background, design and architecture of St. Kate's beautiful chapel on the hill. Come learn where Sister Antonia McHugh got her inspiration and why Archbishop Dowling reportedly said, "Sister Antonia asked to build a chapel, but she built a cathedral."

Come to Mass at 10:30 a.m., enjoy brunch with your student and then attend this engaging lecture with historical photographs and lively discussion.

Please R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, April 17, to the Office of Student Affairs. E-mail or call 651.690-6778.

Cinderella Story for Mock Trial Team

Editor's Note: The St. Kate's mock trial team completed in the opening round of the Championship Series in Waukegan, Ill., from March 8-10. Although the team did not advance to the next round, the students did receive the Spirit of American Mock Trial Association Award. This award is given to the team that other participants voted as promoting the association's ideals of justice, fair play and civility. The team received a perfect score of 30 points in this award category.

Cinderella Story for Mock Trial Team

So what if they came in last, or second to last, at three competitions? Members of St. Catherine University’s mock trial team kept practicing. In February, the students placed eighth out of 22 teams at the Minnesota regional tournament — and advanced one step closer to the nationals.

Team St. Kate's competed in the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) at the Lake County Courthouse in Wuakegan, Illinois, March 8-10.

The competition is one of eight sponsored by the American Mock Trial Association across the United States. St. Kate’s will go up against more established teams from the University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Illinois–Chicago, Notre Dame, University of Wisconsin–Superior, Wheaton College, Northwood University and Hillsdale College, in addition to local rivals from Macalester, Hamline, St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota.

There, the teams will argue both sides of a civil case — involving a death during a scuba diving excursion — in four rounds. (Each side of the case is presented twice.) Two judges will score their performance.

Typically, about a third of the 600 teams that compete at regional level advance to the ORCS. The top six teams from each opening round tournament then move on to the National Championship Tournament in Washington, D.C. in April.

“We’re excited to make it to this level,” says team captain Nhi Phan ’14, who was named best attorney at the regional tournament in St. Paul (scoring 18 out of 20 points). “But we’re also nervous because we have a lot of work to do.”

Phan, a communications studies major, will compete in Wuakegan with Any Montenegro ’13, financial management; Alicia Gaulden '15, accounting; Elisabeth Bierstaker ’13, marketing and management; Ngoc Nguyen ’14, communication studies; and Lindsay Roloff ’13, political science. (Leah Nankumba ’13 and Sarah Moundanga-Lucka '13 competed at the other events.)

“It’s jaw-dropping amazing they’ve come this far,” says Susan Burns, a business attorney in private practice and St. Kate’s mock trial coach. “We have no depth on the bench. None have law background; three are new to mock trial; and for three of them, English is their second language. This really is a Cinderella story.”

The students have had to work extra hard for months to understand legal lingo and to use it correctly, adds Burns. They’ve learned about affidavits, rules of evidence and case strategy, for example, from Burns and local trial lawyer, Theresa Bofferding. St. Kate’s Assistant Professor and Director of Theater Theresa Lyons-Hegdahl has helped the team hone their public speaking and acting skills.

Mock trial at St. Kate’s

St. Kate’s first offered mock trial participation for credit in fall 2010. This academic year, however, a group of students organized the mock trial team under a new Pre-Law Club at the University.

“Next year, it will be offered for credit again, and that will be a permanent arrangement,” says Margaret Smith, faculty advisor and chair of St. Kate's political science department.

Mock trial offers excellent professional preparation for all students, especially those who plan to become lawyers, she adds. “The students learn to think on their feet, improve their public speaking and critical thinking, gain self confidence and learn a good deal about the law,” Smith explains. “Students from any undergraduate major are encouraged to participate.”

Smith, like Coach Burns, is impressed with her students’ achievement. “This is the first time the team has advanced beyond the regionals,” she says.

Phan, the 2013 team captain, joined the team last year because “I wanted to get out of my comfort zone.” Now, she’s hooked on arguing court cases and has set her sights on law school. “I want to do this the rest of my life,” she says.

Her teammate Roloff is law school-bound too. “Once you get your hooks into (playing a trial lawyer), it’s hard to get out,” says Roloff, who earned the top attorney award at the regional tournament in 2011.

At a recent practice session in Mendel Hall, Burns spent nearly three hours with the students — patiently teasing information like cause of death and character evidence from them.

“When I started practicing in 1981, there were hardly any women in the field and it was hard to find mentors,” she says. “That’s why I feel very strongly about helping these St. Kate’s students. They are really driven and at the top of their game.”

Article used with permission by Pauline Oo, Staff Writer and Editor, Marketing and Communications Office

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

Student-created gown from the 2012 KatWalk Fashion Show. This year's event takes place Saturday, May 18

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

April 20: International Potluck, 6-9 p.m., Rauenhorst Ballroom, CdC

April 21: Parent and Family Association Speaker Series Event: "Chapel Talk: The Architecture and Unique Features of Our Lady of Victory Chapel." 1-2:30 p.m., Our Lady of Victory Chapel

April 22: Registration begins for fall 2013

April 30: Honors and Awards Ceremony, 4:30 p.m., Rauenhorst Ballroom, CdC

May 13: String Chamber Orchestra Concert, Our Lady of Victory Chapel, 7:30 p.m.

May 14: Women's Choir "Collage" Concert, Jeanne d'Arc Auditorium, 8 p.m.

May 17: Last day of classes, Dew Drop Bop (5-9 p.m.)

May 18: KatWalk, FCNS Fashion Show, 7:30 p.m., O'Shaughnessy Auditorium 

May 20: Finals (St. Paul campus)

May 23: Associate and Graduate degree Commencement (evening)

May 24: Residence Halls close at 6 p.m.

May 25: Baccalaureate Commencement

Fall 2013 Class Registration

Fall 2013 Class Registration

It's that time of year when we'd like to remind parents of the registration process coming up and offer a few suggestions to share with your student.

Registration for Fall 2013 begins on April 22

Registration for Associate and Baccalaureate students begins April 22. By now your student should have received a letter from the Office of the Registrar providing details and instructions for registration. (Students interested in summer courses can register now by going to the Registrar's website; the summer schedule has a great assortment of courses from which to choose.)

You may want to remind your student to:

1) Complete a Degree Evaluation to make sure she is aware of the courses required to complete her major. Students can access Degree Evaluation from the student tab on KateWay;

2) Meet with her academic advisor to discuss desired courses; and

3) Check for and take care of any "holds" on her account. The Academic Advising staff is always available for back-up to the student's Major Advisor and to answer any questions or obtain information about the registration process. Office of Academic Advising: 651.690-6803.

2013 Commencement: Stay tuned!

2013 Commencement Ceremony

Two commencement ceremonies will take place this spring. On Thursday, May 23, the Associate and Graduate degrees will be awarded in the evening, following a hooding ceremony.

On Saturday, May 25, two Baccalaureate Masses will take place in the morning with the Commencement exercise in the afternoon.

Parents and family members will have access to detailed information after April 1 by using the Commencement website link on the University's homepage,; students can access this website thru KateWay. Information regarding tickets, times and specific instructions will be available from the Commencement website.