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St. Kate’s honors 223 years of service

Center for Sales Director Lynn Schleeter (left) posing with her retirement gift and Senior Vice President Colleen Hegranes.
Center for Sales Director Lynn Schleeter (left) posing with her retirement gift and Senior Vice President Colleen Hegranes.
Photo by Hilary Stein ’14

Rauenhorst ballroom was packed with well wishers on May 13 as colleagues, family, friends and students said adieu to 11 St Catherine University faculty and staff.

“Our honorees have collectively offered our University nearly a quarter of a millennium of service,” said University President Andrea Lee, IHM, at the retirement reception. “In the unique, irreplaceable way of each, our guests of honor have dedicated time and talent to enabling our students to enjoy the best learning experience possible.”

The retirees are:

Ken Vos
Professor of education; 40 years of service

Vos began teaching at St. Kate’s in 1973. He chaired the education department from 1977 to 1987 and served as the University’s government grants coordinator from 1989 to 1993. Vos, a leading statewide and national expert in the area of mathematics education, helped designed St. Kate's’s first online graduate program for the Master of Arts in Education. He also served as project director, principal investigator, evaluator or consultant for numerous projects on and off campus.

Marianne Christiansen
Director of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program and associate professor of occupational science and occupational therapy; 32 years of service

Christiansen joined St. Kate’s in 1981 and was appointed OTA director in 1988. She has taught in the OTA and entry-level Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy programs since then. She served as interim director for the Master of Arts in Holistic Health program from 2007 to 2009. Christiansen received the American Occupational Therapy Association Service Award in 2003, 2008 and 2010. In 2009, the Minnesota Occupational Therapy Association named her Occupational Therapist of the Year. (Her work with the Center for Victims of Torture in Minneapolis was featured in SCAN, fall 2007.)

Chris Franke
Professor of theology; 29 years of service

Franke joined St. Kate’s faculty in 1984, bringing expertise in biblical studies and Hebrew Scriptures, plus a special interest in the role of women in the Bible. She was promoted to associate professor in 1992 and professor in 2000. She served as director of the Master of Arts in Theology program from 1988 to 1992. Franke was editor of the prestigious Old Testament commentary series, Berit Olam, published by Liturgical Press, for several years.

Dodie Russell ’68
Associate professor of nursing; 29 years of service

Russell returned to her alma mater in 1983 and initiated the first graduate-level nurse practitioner certificate program at St. Kate’s. She later co-designed two specialty options (geriatric and pediatric) for it as well. Between 1990 and 2005, Russell helped to develop St. Kate’s Master of Arts in Nursing Program and served as coordinator for the adult nurse practitioner option. In 1990, The Nurse Practitioner: Journal of Primary Care named her one of 25 most influential leaders of the nurse practitioner movement.

Mary Weddle
Clinical education director and curriculum co-director for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, and associate professor of physical therapy; 21 years of service

Weddle joined St. Kate’s in 1992. She served as interim co-director of the Master of Physical Therapy/Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs in 2003–04. All aspects of the DPT curriculum, including the development of more than 10 tutorial cases and the integrated clinical education program, reflect her guiding hand, input and vision. Weddle is one of only three physical therapists in Minnesota licensed to teach both the basic and advanced Clinical Instructor credentialing courses.

Carol Johnson
Director of libraries; 19 years of service

Johnson has been an active administrator and faculty member since 1993. She led the renovation and expansion of the University's St. Paul Campus library, and the rapid transition of both campus libraries into more efficient resources. St. Kate’s is highly regarded in the Twin Cities library community as having an innovative and user-centered operation. Johnson established the Friends of the St. Catherine Library in 1996 to enrich the University’s collections and support its initiatives.

Louise Miner
Assistant professor of organizational leadership; 18 years of service

Miner joined the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) program in 1995. She designed and taught “Leading Organizational Change,” “Leading Teams and Projects,” “Ethics and Leadership” and the capstone “Leadership Seminar.” Miner received the Faculty Teaching and Advising Award in 2010. She also led the development of the Custom MAOL Certificate program. Miner sings with the Minnesota Chorale, Oasis Folk Trio and Morning Star Singers. 

Lynn Schleeter
Director of the Center for Sales and Innovation, and assistant professor of business administration; 14 years of service

Schleeter joined St. Kate’s in 1998 to launch the Center for Sales Innovation. Under her leadership, the center has become a national leader in research and training for women sales professionals. Its Women’s Sales Leaders Program is the only one in the United States designed for women sales professionals. Schleeter is also responsible for forging partnerships with many top Fortune® 500 companies, which have resulted in research projects, guest speakers and internship opportunities for St. Kate’s students.

Rick Volkman
Master electrician; 14 years of service

Volkman brought his skills in electrical work to St. Kate’s in 1999. He was promoted from journeyman electrician to master electrician in 2008. He oversaw all of the University’s electrical needs, including maintaining circuits and circuit boards, and repairing the lighting for the Rose Window in the Chapel. Volkman was also responsible for the electrical needs at the O’Shaughnessy, and for events in the ballroom and on the Quad, including special equipment brought in for Dew Drop Bop.

Maureen Finnegan Ziegler
Internship assistant, Career Development; 11 years of service

Finnegan Ziegler joined the career development office as a receptionist in 2002. She was promoted to office coordinator in 2003, then internship assistant in 2007. She has assisted the internship director in planning and implementing processes and revisions to make the University's career development program more effective for students. Her artistic eye has influenced the décor of the office and its student open houses.

Sandra Peterson
Faculty contracts/budget manager; 10 years of service

Peterson joined St. Kate’s in 2003. She organized and executed faculty contracts and budget management for the Academic Affairs office. This involved coordinating all searches for new faculty, organizing nearly 500 faculty review processes, issuing 1,500 contracts and contract revisions per year and overseeing the budgets of more than 100 offices. She also played a major role in the University’s Banner database conversion project, working closely with Human Resources to develop a process for managing faculty contracts.

May 17, 2013 by Pauline Oo

See also: Faculty