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2013–14 faculty and staff retirees; faculty emeritus

St. Catherine University held its annual retirement reception on May 19, with 11 out of the 19 retirees in attendance — along with well-wishers, who included colleagues and family members.

“Although the mark of time is inevitable, the 11 have a collective of 309 years of service,” says University President Andrea Lee, IHM, in her welcome address. “Their retirement offers a really good reason to come together and celebrate their work.”

President Lee honored each retiree with a personal tribute and a commemorative plaque.

One of the honorees, Jim Newsome, professor emeritus of library and information science, had this to share after receiving his tribute: “I left in August, and to the retirees today, I say: You’ll like [retirement]. However, there are things you will miss at St. Kate’s.”

Seven professors were named faculty emerita or emeritus at spring Commencement May 23–24.

Allys Swanson
Professor Emerita of Exercise and Sport Science
46 years of service

Over five different terms, Swanson chaired what was formerly called the Department of Exercise and Sport Science. She also team-taught 12 inter-professional study abroad courses; coached the tennis team; attended 51 professional meetings; published 39 oral history manuscripts; and served on several committees, including the Butler Center for Sports and Fitness Facility Planning Committee.

Jacqueline O’Hara, CSJ, ’55
Professor Emerita of French
41 years of service

Sister Jackie has taught every course offered by the French department — and she mentored and advised as many or more St. Catherine students than anyone who has ever taught at the University. She chaired the French department, and served on numerous University committees and task forces. She has also been a loyal supporter of study abroad and the “Global Search for Justice” courses. In 1994, she received the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques from the French government.

Linda Distad ’71
Professor Emerita of Education
29 years of service

Distad has been a faculty member and leader since she returned to her alma mater in 1985. Her contributions to both the University and teaching profession are extensive. She led the Department of Education for 18 years. Distad has served as project leader and steering committee chair for the Twin Cities Teacher Collaborative, a 10-year project funded by the Bush Foundation. She served on more than 40 University committees. Distad is the only professor elected to lead the faculty for St. Catherine University and the College of St. Catherine.

Gregory Morrissey
Production Manager, The O’Shaughnessy
29 years of service

Morrissey supported over 3,500 events in his nearly three decades at St. Kate’s. He was also scene and lighting designer at The O’Shaughnessy for 25 years, supporting more than 100 St. Catherine/St. Thomas theater department productions, and personally directing eight productions. Morrissey developed and taught courses in “Introduction to Theater,” “Stagecraft,” “Directing for the Stage,” “Scene Design,” “Lighting Design” and “Scene Painting.

Jim Newsome, MAT’05
Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Science
26 years of service

Jim Newsome began his career as a temporary reference and instruction librarian. He later earned tenure, served as head of library public services, and completed his career in 2013 as acting director of the library. Newsome taught in the Master of Library and Information Science program and presented in numerous academic classes across the University. He has also chaired the Faculty Public Relations Committee and Academic Resources Committee.

Martha Hardesty
Professor Emerita, Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
24 years of service

Hardesty taught a range of marketing and management courses, as well as “The Reflective Woman” and “Global Search for Justice.” She designed and taught core courses in the Master of Arts in Organizational (MAOL) program, such as “Professional and Organizational Ethics.” She also created several elective courses, including “One Hundred Years of Women’s Leadership” and developed the first MAOL study abroad course in Japan. 

Rollye Winnig
Administrative Assistant, Academic Affairs
22 years of service

Winnig provided quiet and effective administrative support for leaders of the Minneapolis campus, the College of Applied and Continuing Learning and the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health. She received the 2009 Support Staff of the Year Award and played an integral role in the much lauded success of the 2008 Healthcare Summit. Winnig maintained the clinical agreement database, which houses over 600 clinical partners for the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health.

Helen Howell ’61
Assistant Professor of Education
17 year of service

Howell taught foundational courses in the Department of Education and supervised teacher candidates, as well as led “Global Search for Justice” courses. During her tenure at St. Catherine, she served on several University committees including the Bush Steering Committee, GSJ Core Committee and the Ann Harvey Lecture Series Committee. She served as faculty secretary from 2001 to 2003. Howell’s passion for issues related to educational equity has permeated all her work at the University.

Roberta Hunt ’79
Professor Emerita of Nursing
15 years of service

Roberta Hunt returned to her alma mater from 1996–2001 as an assistant professor, bringing expertise in public health and community nursing. She spent time as a Fulbright Visiting Lecturer in Budapest, Hungary, before rejoining the St. Kate's community as an associate professor of nursing in 2006. Her book Introduction to Community Based Nursing, now in its 5th edition, was named 2012 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year.

Hilda Kachmar
Assistant Professor of Spanish
9 years of service

During her tenure, Kachmar introduced countless young women to the joys of learning Spanish and to the cultures of various Spanish-speaking countries. She taught Spanish at all levels (beginner through advanced), including the “Short Stories in Spanish” course. She has both supervised and advised numerous teaching assistants, while serving as liaison between the University’s information technology services and the Language Center.

Laura Goodman MAOL’11
Director of Public Safety
8 years of service

Goodman has been responsible for public safety, risk management, parking and transportation management at St. Catherine since 2006. Among her accomplishments, Goodman enhanced the professional effectiveness of the Public Safety team and function; maintained strong lines of communication with the local Police Departments; handled student crisis situations with a caring touch; and conducted emergency training with the Public Safety team and University staff.


The retirees who were unable to attend the celebration:

James Ashley
Professor Emeritus of Economics; 30 years of service

Jean Pearson Ryan ’76
Acquisitions Technician, Library; 29 years of service

Lai Truong
Accountant, Business Office; 28 years of service

Nick Hanner
Maintenance Engineer; 26 years of service

Sheryl Buchholz
Professional Faculty Member, ASL/Interpreting; 22 years of service

Gaye Sorenson
Administrative Assistant, Advanced Montessori Programs; 8 years

Mary Beth Arthaud ’78
Visual Communications Manager; 8 years of service


In Memorium: Susan Goetz
Professor Emerita of Education; 15 years of service
(See: Science education champion to be remembered Friday)


June 4, 2014 by Pauline Oo

See also: Alumnae/i, Business, Education, Faculty, Healthcare, Leadership, Liberal Arts