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Past Events & News

December 2015   French 311 students attend workshop with actors from "All is Calm."

On the afternoon of Saturday, December 5, thirteen students of French had the opportunity to converse and discuss with four actors from Theater Latte Da, prior to their performance of "All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914", by Peter Rothstein (SJU '88) . The one-hour workshop and Q&A was organized by Deb Lehman, Interim Director of the Fine Arts Series, and Assistant Professor Ana Conboy, in the context of her Fall 2015 FREN311 class, Studies in Language and Culture. Thank you to all who came! For more information about the show, please visit

November 2015   Student Excursion to the MIA/Delacroix Exhibit

Sixteen CSB students and French faculty, Ana Conboy and Maureen McCarter, made a trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Art on Saturday, November 5, to tour the exhibition on the works of 19th century French artist, Eugène Delacroix. The trip was sponsored by the Department of Languages and Cultures and arranged by French Cultural Events Assistant, Meg Anderson '16.

Delacroix revolutionized painting by creating images that seethed with movement and eye-grabbing color. He influenced other great artists such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, and even Van Gogh whose works are also featured in the exhibit. This show is unique to the United States and travels only to London's National Gallery after it ends at the MIA on January 10.

Pictured L-R (front): Anna Nordin, My Tran, Laura Precourt, Caroline Desert, unidentified student, Shannon Elstad, Rachel Munter, Kanisha Howard; (back): Rachel Perri, unidentified student, Katelyn Nelson and Ariel Lusty.

October 2015   Third Annual "Stage Fright" Open Mic Night

The third annual "Stage Fright" multi-lingual open mic event was held on the eve of Halloween in the BAC Gorecki Gallery Lounge at CSB. MC for the event, sponsored by the Department of Languages and Cultures, was Prof. Scott Richardson (Classics). Well over 50 students, faculty and community members attended, most of them dressed in costume, and enjoyed treats, music and various forms of poetry, readings and song. Many languages were represented throughout the evening including French, German, Hmong, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese and even a popular song translated into American Sign Language.  

The event included a best costume contest. Congratulations to winners: Jordyn Potter as a character from Harry Potter (first prize and a $20 gift card to the CSB/SJU Bookstore), Mary Catherine Steenberge as "Starbucks" (second prize and a $15 gift card to The Local Blend), and Rita Gangl as Rosie the Riveter (third prize and a $10 gift card to Sliced Pizza). Costume judges were Ana Fonseca Conboy (French), Emily Kuffner (Hispanic Studies) and Dean Karen Erickson. Many thanks to everyone who performed and who helped with the event, with special thanks to co-planners, Meg Anderson '16 and Lucy Dornbach '19!

Video performances:

Ana Conboy (French) and Emily Kuffner (Hispanic Studies) (on accordion) perform "Tourdion," a 16th century French song.

Click here to view more photos from the event!

Scott Richardson and Karen Erickson perform

French Cultural Events Assistant,
Meg Anderson, and friend at Stage Fright

October 2015    Languages & Cultures at Homecoming 2015

Sarah Pruett, Languages & Cultures Department chair and ESL director, and Ana Fonseca Conboy both represented the department at this year's Homecoming on Saturday, October 17 on the SJU Tundra. Sarah and Ana spoke with several alumni who were on campus for the game and other Homecoming activities.

September 2015    French faculty attend a conference on all things Quebec

Members of the French Studies Program attended a one-day conference on various topics relating to the Canadian province of Quebec. The conference took place at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN on Saturday, Sept. 26. Topics ranged from film to poetry to comics and Québécois culture from colleagues at Georgetown University, the University of Minnesota, Carleton College, Macalaster College and the University of North Dakota. A Canadian consulate and the Attachée aux affaires publiques et gouvernementales from the Quebec Delegation in Chicago also took part. The seminar concluded with dinner on the terrasse of French Meadow on Grand Avenue. Beaucoup de fun!

Pictured front center: Maureen McCarter (in blue), Ana Conboy, Camilla Krone (far right in peach)

September 2015     We welcome our new Austrian Fulbright

The German Studies Program and faculty welcome new Austrian Fulbright scholar, Christoph Jakits. Christoph is from Vienna where he studied German and English at the University of Vienna. His hobbies include travel, movies, skiing, swimming and music. In addition to helping our German faculty with their classes and our students with their German studies, the Fulbright program allows Christoph to take classes at CSB/SJU during the 2015-2016 academic year. His office is in Quad 257.

Welcome, Chris!




August 2015     Languages & Cultures and French Studies welcome new colleagues

Ana Fonseca Conboy, Assistant Professor of French, received her Ph.D. in French literature and language from Boston College this past spring. Academic interests include 17th-century French literature, Baroque and Classic literature and culture, Hagiographic theater, Metatheater and theater within theater, and language pedagogy and linguistics.

Though born in Iowa, Ana grew up in Portugal and is bilingual and bicultural. In addition to her love of French language, lit and culture, she has a passion for singing early and early modern music. She jogs, practices yoga and meditation and enjoys spending time at the beach, walking and swimming. She also likes to bake and try new recipes, especially those involving citrus fruits, spices or carob. And we hear she does a mean impersonation of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Ana will be teaching FREN 211 and FREN 311 this fall. Her office is at St. Ben's in Richarda Hall. Welcome, Ana!

Jason Kirsch, French adjunct instructor, comes to us from St. John's Prep School where he taught German. He received his B.A. in German and French from Valparaiso University. Jason will be teaching FREN 111 this fall and has his office in Richarda Hall at St. Ben's. (More info to follow.) Welcome, Jason!


June 2015     CSB/SJU's New Archeological Field School

Assistant Professor of Classics, Jason Schlude, is currently directing one of CSB/SJU's newest short-term study abroad programs: an archeological dig in northern Israel.

Pictured above: Jason (in red) with his 2015 student excavating team.

Jason recently sent an update on the new program:

"I write from northern Israel, where the 2015 season of our archaeological field school at Omrit is underway.

First, I would like to let you know that we are having an excellent season this year! We are pursuing a range of important research questions related to the Roman settlement we are excavating, and we have a great team of excavators this year. As for our Bennies and Johnnies on the team, they are doing a FANTASTIC job! And not only are they impressing me, but they also are impressing my co-directors. I can't say enough about the work they are doing and how adept they are at leading and being team players. We cannot do this kind of research without students like this! We are so lucky to work with them!

Secondly, we have a webpage for the CSB/SJU field school at Omrit. The webpage includes information about the project, our CSB/SJU 2015 team, and (MOST IMPORTANTLY) a blog written by our students that details some of their experiences in real-time! The address is:"

We invite you to learn more about Omrit and follow the Bennie-Johnnie Blog as our students make discoveries and help with this important research!

April 2015    Language Scholarship Recipients Announced

The following students were awarded language scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year:

Left to right: Ben Kollaja '16, Otmar Drekonja Scholarship for German Cultural Studies
Margaret Anderson '16, Gaida Family Scholarship for French
Karen Mize '16, Sister Margretta Nathe Scholarship for German 

Congratulations, Meg, Ben and Karen!

For information on our language scholarships, click here.


April 1015    Student Excursion to the Minneapolis Institute of Art's Habsburg Exhibit

Submitted by Lisa Ohm

Elizabeth Shelerud, Charlotte Waterhouse, Sarah Wachter and Beth Richmond

Over sixty students, faculty members and staff from CSB/SJU had the opportunity to see the special exhibit, "Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces form Vienna's Imperial Collections" on April 19th. This spring's Austrian Studies Newsletter described the selection of art treasures from Austria's National Museum of Art History in Vienna "utterly breathtaking."  

One of the students called the 100 objects in the exhibit "exquisite," a word he admittedly seldom uses.

The Habsburgs were great collectors of art and sculptures, especially from parts of France, Spain and the Netherlands, which were at one time provinces in the extensive Habsburg Empire, which lasted for 600 years. Chronologically arranged, the exhibit gives visitors a sense of the Habsburg Empire from the Middle Ages to its end in 1918. Among the treasures are Greek and Roman antiquities, paintings, decorative pieces, court costumes, armor, and horse-drawn carriages and sleds.

Students from Sarah Bavelli's Art History course; students from the 2014 and 2015 Austria Study Abroad Groups and their directors, Lisa Ohm and Jim Read and Director of the Center for Global Education, Joe Rogers; students from German courses; and students seeking a worthwhile learning experience filled the buses. MIA encourages student groups with free entry and free guides. Participants exchanged views on the exhibit at the nearby Black Forest Inn over a buffet lunch of Wurst, Sauerkraut, Kartoffelsalad, Maultasche, and "Sachertorte" for dessert. Transportation and lunch were supported by the Art Department and the Office of Education Abroad.

L-R: Jack Paal, Will Ornburg, Tori Kubinski, Jon Vogel, Andrew Sweere

Sarah Bavelli's art students at the Black Forest Inn.

Photos by Julia Eckart '17.

New publication by Wendy Sterba

Congratulations to Wendy Sterba, Professor of German Studies, on the publication of her new book, Reel Photos: Balancing Art and Truth in Contemporary Film, by Rowman and Littlefield. "In her book, Sterba provides an innovative approach to cinema studies by examining the function of the photograph in movies rather than the role of film photography as art."

Her book is now available in the SJU Bookstore.

SJU alum publishes short stories influenced by his experiences at CSB/SJU

Dana R. Hicks (History '14) has recently published a collection of short stories under the pen name, D.R.L. Hicks. His eBook is titled, Lost Upon the Isle of Serenity: A Collection of Adventures. According to Dana, his stories "are the product of the wonderful undergraduate academic environment" at CSB/SJU. His collection is available for iBooks, Google Play, Nook, and Kindle. The ISBN is 9781634617321. 

Dana participated in the 2012 study abroad program in Austria and also learned German at CSB/SJU. He is currently enrolled in a Master's Degree program in history at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. He hopes to continue writing fiction as well as publishing academic works in his chosen field of history. He's off to a good start, and we wish him the best of luck!

"Ted Cruz, Cicero, and the classics"

After their McCarthy Center presentation on Dec. 5, Assistant professor of Classics, Jason Schlude, and three of his students, Sarah Evans, Hunter Huntoon and Michael Macken, have had an opinion piece published in the Dec. 9 edition of the Star Tribune. The piece can be read at this link.

Ned Dubin, Professor Emeritus of French, receives literary award

The Modern Language Association of America has announced that it will award its tenth Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for an Outstanding Translation of a Literary Work to Nathaniel E. Dubin, translator of The Fabliaux, published by Liveright. Read more...

Congratulations to German major and SJU alum, Austin Eighan '14

Austin Eighan '14 has been selected to receive a scholarship from the German Federal Parliament to participate in their five-month long International Parliament Scholarship (IPS) starting in March 2015. The participants selected from around the world gather to pursue their political, historical, economic, social and cultural research alongside practical work with members of the German government and attend lectures at Berlin universities. The IPS will give Austin an opportunity to further pursue the research he began for his Honors thesis on the success of middle-size corporations in Germany and supportive policies of the German government as well as social attitudes. Over 100 young students from around the world are chosen for this special program, founded in 1986.

Congratulations to Dr. Margaret Cook, Professor Emerita of Classics

After 25 years of teaching Latin, Greek and history at CSB/SJU, Dr. Margaret Cook retired at the end of the 2014 spring semester. Margaret was honored at a party in the Founder's Room at SJU on May 8.

Congratulations and happy gardening to Margaret!

Margaret's Greek and Latin Students

Margaret gives her speech

Photos by Julia Eckhart '17

Japanese National Honor Society Inductees

Congratulations to Alexander Baxa '14 and Samantha Muldoon '14, who were recently inducted into the Japanese National Honor Society, College Chapter. The JNHS-CC) recognizes and encourages scholastic achievement and excellence in the study of the Japanese language. Alex and Sam are students of Ms. Masami Limpert's JAPN 312 class.

Samantha Muldoon '14

Alexander Baxa '14

Photos by Julia Eckhart '17

Congratulations to the following language scholarship recipients for 2014-2015:

Dr. & Mrs. Joseph Gaida
Scholarship for French
for CSB French majors

S. Margretta Nathe
Scholarship for German
for CSB German majors

Samantha Cox '15

Karen Mize '16

Photo by Julia Eckhart '17

Otmar Drekonja Scholarship for German Studies
for CSB/SJU German majors

Grant Christian '15

Melania Meyer '15

Photos by Julia Eckhart '17

Steve Pignato '15

Scholarship opportunities are available for CSB/SJU students in Chinese, French, and German. Read more...

German minor composes score for campus theater production

CSB German minor, Rachel Boerner '15, has composed original underscoring music for the Theater Department's upcoming production of Jane Austen's Persuasion.

Writes Adam Houghton, associate professor of Theater, "Her music is beautiful and emotionally moving as it supports the story we tell." The play performs April 3-5 and April 10-12 at 7:30 pm and April 6 at 2 pm in the BAC Gorecki Theater.

Rachel will be participating in the Salzburg study abroad program next fall, directed by Dr. Lisa Ohm, professor of German.


Fulbright TA teaches local elementary school students about Austria


Martin Spendlhofer, Fulbright TA for German Studies at CSB/SJU, paid a visit to the Albany Elementary School on February 6, 2014. Dressed in authentic Lederhosen, Martin introduced students to his home country of Austria. Students also learned a bit of the German language and participated in a traditional Austrian dance.

To learn more about Martin's experiences at CSB/SJU and his travels around the U.S., read his post at the German Studies News blog.


Thursday Forum Presentation by Anna Lisa Ohm and Austin Eighan


Professor Anna Lisa Ohm and German major, Austin Eighan, '15, delivered a presentation on current issues in Germany on January 30 in the upper level of Gorecki at CSB. The title of the talk was "Update on Germany: Shifting Priorities and Overcoming Crises" and was presented as part of the Spring Thursday Forum 2014 series. The abstract of their presentation follows:

With globalization, the traditional postwar Atlantic Alliance between the U.S. and Germany is crumbling, the Holocaust narrative, which dominated the public discourse in the postwar period, is being disrupted by a greater willingness on the part of Germans to speak openly about their own victimization in the Third Reich, and, although the West made huge investments in the former East Germany since unification in 1989, Germany remains Europe's most economically powerful and relatively most politically stable nation. Germany's place is demonstrated in part by the re-election of Angela Merkel's party in September 2013 and her third term as chancellor. Despite the somewhat shaken Euro, the European Union continues to expand, fueled in part by Germany's strong leadership role.

Ohm was one of a group of fourteen U.S. university German professors who were guests in July of the education and culture section of the German Foreign Office. Senior Austin Eighan, German and Political Science major, spent last year at the University of Munich and is writing his thesis on the cultural-historical context of Germany's social economy and its ability to overcome crises.

Stage Fright - Multi-lingual Halloween Open Mic Event
October 31, 2013


About 50 CSB/SJU students attended or participated in a fun, multi-lingual open-mic event at CSB on the night of Halloween. Any piece (song, reading or poem) performed in any language was welcomed. Refreshments and costume judging topped off the evening. 

To see more photos, click on this link.