Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute for Women
at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Visit Saint Teresa Institute web site: www.smumn.edu/womenleaders
Row 1 L to R: Amira Sedak, Boya Hu, Alyssa Hamel, Georgette McCauley
Row 2 L to R: Ashley Loos, Mollie Bock, Heather Jacobsen, Kristina Scherber
In the tradition of courageous women throughout history, the Saint Teresa Institute fosters, within an academic setting, a spiritual, social, and cultural environment through which the leadership potential of women is nurtured in a community that celebrates personal integrity, excellence, joy, and service.
|Frequently Asked Questions
|What is the Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute?
The Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute for Women is a living and learning co-curricular community nested within the co-educational experience of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. The women gain many of the benefits of all women’s education while fully participating in the vibrant life of the larger university. In addition to creating a dynamic teaching and learning environment, these young women learn in select all-women’s classes, study Teresan and Franciscan values, leadership theory and practice, develop self-assessment profiles and practice leadership in a wide range of new experiences and opportunities. These young women also identify, design and implement various service activities throughout the Winona community.
|What is the relationship between the Saint Teresa Institute, the College of Saint Teresa Alumnae Association, and the Sisters of Saint Francis?
The Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute is blessed to have wonderful relationships with the CST Alumnae Association and the Sisters of Saint Francis. The women of the Saint Teresa Institute participate in CSTAA events such as Reunion and chapter gatherings in order to understand better the spirit and legacy of the college. The Institute is also involved in identifying ways in which we can help celebrate the upcoming CST centennial with the Teresan community.
The support of the Sisters of Saint Francis also continues to grow and inspire us. The sisters serve as role models by providing opportunities to build bridges between the women of the Saint Teresa Institute and the broader Teresan community. In November of 2005 the students eagerly accepted the invitation from Sister Mary Lonan Reilly ’50 and Mary Tacheny ‘81 to return to Assisi Heights and participate in the “Night of 1001 Donuts.” Many of the young women also attended a recent presentation by Sister Geneva Berns ’65 about religion and spirituality. The young women in the Institute continue to learn from the sisters and their tradition of providing excellence in education for young women and care and compassion for the poor through service to their communities.
|What makes the Saint Teresa Institute distinct from other women’s programming at other colleges or universities?
The Saint Teresa Institute is the only program of its kind due to its unique focus on women’s leadership and service. The Institute is neither a women studies program nor is it limited to women in politics. The Saint Teresa Institute is focused on providing a values-based understanding of leadership in all aspects of these young women’s lives. Teresan and Franciscan values are woven into the curriculum and into co-curricular activities. The students seek opportunities to serve their communities and practice leadership inside and outside the classroom. For example, this spring the students will spend a weekend in an urban immersion program designed to understand better what it is like to experience extreme poverty and homelessness. Designed by the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA), this weekend experience will lead into a strategy discussion to address actively the poverty and homelessness in our communities.
The Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute is also unique in that it provides some of the benefits of all-women’s education and an all women’s living community while attending a co-educational university. The women in the Institute have immediate opportunities to integrate and share their women’s leadership knowledge and experiences with the other young women and men at Saint Mary’s University.
The Saint Teresa Institute is also unusual in that it provides young women the chance to study and experience leadership and service in a non-urban setting. While some of our activities bring us to urban areas, the Institute serves as an alternative to programs based in urban areas.
The Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute is also distinct in that it adds value to an already strong university experience. In the most recent National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota scored higher (and in some cases much higher) than the national average for other small colleges in areas related to the development of values, ethics and the whole person. Saint Mary’s also scored well above average in career preparation and in various areas related to genuine, personal, and academic support to students.
|How can I as a Teresan support the Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute for Women?
There are so many ways to be involved in the Saint Teresa Institute. We invite your prayers, your ideas, the sharing of your experiences, mentoring and internship opportunities, and other learning and growth opportunities. If you know of a young woman that may be interested, pass their name along and refer them to our website. Your support is essential to the success of these young women leaders.
This spring’s programming includes a workshop on money and financial management for young women, a HECUA weekend urban immersion experience described above, and an ethics and leadership presentation. We will also be working with Project COMPASS, a local organization that assists adults with disabilities, on their annual spring fling dance.
STI Graduates from the 2009 Class at Saint Mary's University of Winona
STI Student help at Reunion '08 Store. L to R Bridget Doyle '63, (Liason between the STI and CST Boards),
Mollie Bock "10 SMU, Alyssa Hamel '10 SMU. Both of these students have helped out in the Alumnae of CST Office as needed.
CST Alumnae and STI students partnered to take part in the " Amuzing Race" at Reunion '08. It was a special opportunity for them to get to know each other and learn more about the SMU and CST campuses. A gorgeous fall day was a big help!
L-R Peg Winters, Saint Teresa Institute Director and Colleen Kocer Peplinsk '87, Executive Director Alumnae Association of the College of Saint Teresa. It has been a year of growth for STI. Close communication between these two strong leaders has been a great help to everyone involved.
For more information, please contact:
Peg Winters, Director
Saint Teresa Leadership & Service Institute for Women, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights #1523
Winona MN 55987
(800) 635-5987 or (507) 457-6651