Get to Know: Rachel Klatt


By Brittany Thompson

Campus Life Editor


 As per the mission statement, the Viterbo University community prepares students for faithful service and ethical leadership. Some of the first leaders that incoming students are exposed to are the Resident Assistants (RAs) and Peer Advisors (PAs). 

RAs responsibilities according to the Viterbo Residence Life page include building community, providing personal-growth opportunities and creating fun, social floor activities. PAs are exclusive to Clare Apartments and responsibilities are similar to RAs with less emphasis placed on creating floor activities. 

In an effort to acknowledge the hard work and learn more about these students, this article asks several questions about all things RA and PA related. Rachel Klatt, of Barron, WI is the first to discuss these questions. Klatt is currently PA of Clare Apartments, 4th floor. Previously, she served as RA of Rose Apartments, 4th floor and 2013 Summer RA. 

Q. How well did the move-in process go? 

A. I believe that campus-wide, move-in was a huge success. Everything went so smoothly and there were very little to no glitches within the system. A major part of the move-in success is due to the many volunteers for all of their help, patience, and assistance. Move-in would not have been so successful if not for all of you!

Q. What inspired you to apply for the position of RA? 

A. My RA my freshman year (Kelsey Pruitt) was such a marvelous example and role model of not only an RA but as a student and representative of Viterbo University. I was seeking the opportunity to become an exemplary leader on campus, and becoming a Resident Assistant is the best leadership role I could have ever asked for. I am so very grateful of the opportunities that I have received because of this position, and I am even more delighted to have followed directly in Kelsey’s footsteps.

Q. In what ways have you improved the dorm or apartment experience for the residents? 

A. I make a point every day to practice the Viterbo value of hospitality. I try my hardest to create a welcoming and warm environment for all of the students here on-campus at Viterbo, whether it’s saying hello or developing a social program. 

Q. What it something your residents may not know about you? 

A. My residents most likely do not know that I am a farm girl. I was born and raised on a dairy farm, and it has definitely been the most influential experience in my life that has shaped me into the person that I am today. I received my strong work ethic, patience, and attention to detail from my experience of milking cows to feeding calves to cutting hay and fixing fence. I could not have asked for a better life and experience growing up. 


Paul Loeb speaks at Viterbo


By Melissa Vach

Arts and Entertainment Editor


    “If we’re gonna tackle big problems, like global climate change, we need to work together,” Paul Loeb told an audience of roughly 500 students and community members scattered throughout the Viterbo Fine Arts Center Main Theatre on Sept. 12. 

     Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen, The Impossible Will Take A Little While, and Generation at the Crossroads, provided stories of famous and everyday people in a speech that asked how individuals can become involved in social justice and work toward a desired change. 

     Loeb spoke as part of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership series. His book Soul of a Citizen was read in the 300-level mission seminar classes in the fall and spring of 2012-13.

     “I use [Rosa Parks] because people think they know her,” Loeb began. 

     Parks was an African-American woman who became famous for her refusal to give up her seat at the front of a public bus to a white person.

     Loeb explained how it had “troubled him” when he had seen a CNN broadcast one year that portrayed Parks’ action as something sudden, as if “she acted accidentally and then boom, history changes.”

     Loeb insisted that was not the case. “We don’t start full-fledged, we grow into [leadership],” he said. It was an idea that would repeat throughout his presentation.

     “[Parks] had taken training sessions before, been part of an existing movement. She didn’t know what would happen, but she initiated change.”

      Loeb also shared the story of a young woman named Nadda who participated in the Egyptian Spring of 2011. The Egyptian Spring was a revolt by Egyptians against the rule of then-president Hosni Mubarak. 

     “It was a dictatorship where people were snatched off the street and beaten,” Loeb said of Mubarak. “But I remember Nadda said, ‘I had to,’” Loeb said of his questions about why Nadda decided to participate. 

     “One person’s courage inspires another,” Loeb said, quoting Nelson Mandela. 

     Mandela was a former president of South Africa as well as a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

     “Think about the impact everyone else is bringing in. You don’t know who you’ll inspire. To me, that’s the true source of hope,” he said, encouraging that, “Whatever the challenge, bring in unlikely people.”

     Loeb emphasized that no one is perfect, and that no one needs to be perfect to start a chain reaction of social justice. “We have to let that [idea] go,” he said, stating that people usually think in terms of “all or nothing; either we are Rosa Parks or we are not.

     “I would ask [college students], are you involved in elections?” Loeb recalled of his times visiting universities during election periods. “I would always hear, ‘My vote doesn’t matter anyway.’” Loeb figured that,  “The election may as well be on the moon.”

    “Hold officials accountable,” Loeb said, and remain “persistent.”

     His closing words were, “Whatever [project] you’re doing, savor it. In the course of that, you find out what it is to be human.”


Third, fourth year students in residence halls


By  Jessica Hartling

Lumen Assistant Editor


     Three of Viterbo’s third and fourth year returning students are currently living in the residence halls. Most third and fourth year students live in on-campus apartments or off campus.  

     Jacob Hart, sophomore management and communications double major from Marengo, Ill., is the residential assistant (RA) on third floor Marian Hall. 

     This school year Hart has four upperclassmen living on his floor, two of whom are returning Viterbo students. In addition, due to the overflow of housing, three male students are living in the lounge.

     “The freshmen students do not seem to be affected by having older peers on their floor and not having a lounge,” Hart told Lumen. “The lack of a lounge did change how I needed to approach my first floor meeting, since there was no common meeting space.”

     In Marian Hall, only the second and third floors have a lounge. The lounge is a common meeting area with a kitchen, furniture, and a television. This location is often used by most students as place to make friends or relax.

   “Having people living in the lounge has changed the dynamic of the floor. There is not as much of a community as I would like since there is no place to hang out,” Hart said. “Instead, they keep their doors open and try to hang out in their rooms.”

     In addition to not having a lounge, having upperclassmen has added an extra dynamic to his job, Hart said.

     “I was worried at first about having no lounge and upperclassmen living on the floor. I know it is tough for the 21 year-olds to abide by the housing rules, such as no alcohol in the residence halls, but we can’t make exceptions,” Hart said.

    Third floor Marian is not the only floor that has returning third or fourth year students living in the residence halls. The first floor of Marian also has a senior returning student.

  Cella Albuquerque, sophomore biopsychology major from Chicago, Ill., is the RA for first floor Marian.        

“I feel that having an upperclassman actually adds to the dynamic of the floor. She is able to give advice to the other students, such as teachers, classes, and other common college questions,” Albuquerque told Lumen.

    “As for my job, sometimes it is intimidating to have someone older on my floor. There is a role reversal since she has to listen to me, but she is older than me,” Albuquerque said.

     “I can image that it is difficult to be living in the residence halls as an upperclassman. They are older, but they cannot access any of the privileges which comes with maturity and age,” Albuquerque said.

   Both Hart and Albuquerque agreed that they are unable to allow any exceptions. They also said that there is a need for students to be better informed earlier on in the process for on-campus housing.

     “I am trying to make sure that my residents know that if they want to secure on-campus housing, they need to have a party of four, since they receive first priority,” Albuquerque said.


Einstein’s Bros. Bagels holds grand opening at Franny’s location


By Brittany Thompson

Campus Life Editor


     Thursday, Sept. 5, marked the grand opening of Einstein Bros. Bagels at Franny’s (EBB) located next to the campus library in the previous location of Franny’s. To mark the occasion, the Viterbo community was invited to participate in a bagel toss, sample various bagels and shmears, as well as receive coupons and special promotions.

     Mary Simota, director of campus dining, described the event as “very successful” and noted the high volume of students as well as faculty in attendance. 

      Simota said early favorites are the blueberry muffin, the grab-and-go Tasty Turkey on Asiago Cheese Bagel, and the yogurt parfait cup. For bagels, the Cinnamon Sugar and Everything varieties stand out as most popular.

     Why EBB over other franchises? Simota explained that in market research, EBB has been very successful at other locations. Just as important, the franchise is willing to work with smaller campus dining programs, such as Viterbo’s. 

     While Subway was also a popular suggestion in campus dining surveys, Crossroads POD & Grill already provides made-to-order sandwiches. 

     Representatives of Student Government Association, Simota, and other Viterbo staff agreed that the products provided by Subway would be too redundant and EBB better suited the campus’ needs. 

     A noticeable change from the former Franny’s café is the expense. The higher cost stems from greater variety and quality of products said Simota. Einstein Bros. Bagels’ goal, as stated on the company website, is “food that is fast, but never tastes that way.”

     EBB is currently hiring, either for campus work study hours, or non-work study hours. A complimentary meal is provided for each shift worked said Simota. 

     Simota would like to remind students and faculty to “be patient” with the new EBB, “Already, EBB is much busier than Franny’s and additional staff is being added to help improve service time.” Simota states    

“I would encourage everyone to come down and try it. We are working out the kinks and getting better every week.”

     Students and faculty who have tried the new EBB and would like to offer feedback, email Simota at 

     Also, a new online feedback source for all dining services offered across campus, Voice of the Consumer, is to be launched before the end of the semester said Simota. 



Mentalist comes to campus


By  Jessica Hartling

Lumen Assistant Editor


Eric Dittelman, a mentalist, is coming to campus on Thursday, August 29th. Sponsored by Student Activities Board (SAB), as a part of Welcome Week, Dittelman will be performing at 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center lobby. 

Dittleman was a competitor on the TV show “America’s Got Talent.” This TV show allows for people with all sorts of skills and ability to compete for a top prize of a million dollars. He made it to the semifinals before being eliminated. 

“Dittleman has won the hearts of Americans with his mentalist act during his time on ‘America’s Got Talent’ and now Viterbo will witness his skill first hand,” Katie Legier, SAB vice-president from Rochester, Minn., told Lumen. 

Featuring comedy and improv with his mind reading skills, Dittleman travels across the country touring colleges such as Viterbo.  

For more information or an example video of his show please visit 


AVP introduces new faces, programs


By Barbara Gayle

Vice President for Academic Affairs


    It is my privilege to welcome new and returning students to the 2013/2014 academic year. Whether you are a traditional daytime student, an adult evening student, or a weekend graduate student, I hope you are prepared for a terrific new academic year! 

     I know Viterbo faculty members are ready and willing to help you make progress toward your degree. I would like to take this opportunity to share a bit about the new faculty you will see on campus and to tell you about three new programs.

     Our Community Engagement Coordinator, Denis Lorenz, teamed up with Dean Tom Knothe of the Dahl School of Business to apply for a grant that will provide paid internships this year. 

     The Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation funded our Career Ready Internship Initiative grant that will add 59 additional paid internship opportunities for our students and will allow us to implement several professional development activities for students and interns. 

     This fall we admitted our first six students into our new Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree program. We have taken a huge step as a university offering a doctorate to those who seek the highest level of educational training and to provide evidence-based care to meet regional health care needs.

     Students will also be hearing more about Starfish, a new computer software system that helps faculty recognize hard work in the classroom, mission moments on campus, and ensure student success and persistence.  

     As soon as Starfish is completely operational any faculty recommendation for continued progress in a specific class can be communicated directly to a student. We hope this new program helps students obtain the needed resources before they are in any danger of failing a course.

     Each of our schools and the Center for Adult Learning are welcoming new faculty. The Dahl School of Business greets Timothy Szmanda to the finance and accounting area.  Tim is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Management Accountant, a Certified Internal Accountant and a Certified Financial Manager.

     Jerry Kember joins the School of Education as the new Interim Dean. Jerry is best known for his impact on our educational community as the former Superintendent of the School District of La Crosse. Last semester Jerry taught speech for Viterbo students who report he is an awesome professor. 

     Melinda Langeberg also joins the School of Education as an assistant professor. Melinda brings a wealth of experience in education having taught high school English and reading for the Onalaska School District.

     Two faculty members join the School of Fine Arts. Diana Cataldi in the music department has a Doctor of Musical Arts from Ohio State University and has participated in a number of musical performances such Fiddler on the Roof, The Gifts of the Magi, etc. 

     Our new Artist in Residence in the Musical Theater area is Shane Rhoades.  Shane’s debut on Broadway found him dancing and singing for The Boy From Oz or in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

     Three undergraduate faculty members are welcomed in the School of Letters and Sciences. 

     Christopher Mooney joins our math department this year after successfully defending his dissertation at the University of Iowa and having participated in the Heartland Mathematics Partnership. Michael Parker earned his Ph.D. in Social Psychology and Quantitative Methods from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and enjoys doing statistical analysis for fun! 

     Another professor joining our psychology department is Stephanie  Thorson-Olesen, Ph.D.  who is an outstanding community volunteer. She was presented a Ronald McDonald House Gold Medal Volunteer award as well as a Wisconsin State and a National Volunteer Service Award.

     The School of Nursing is greeting several new faculty members.  Susan Cieslick joins the School of Nursing after earning a masters’ degree from Nebraska Methodist College where she was also presented the “Spirit of Caring” award. Susan spent several days this week accompanying Viterbo nursing students to a conference. 

     Julie Meyers, alumna of Viterbo and former faculty member, joins the School of Nursing as a registered Adult Nurse Practitioner. Julie was the clinic manager in Black River Falls. 

     Megan Smith rejoins the nursing school after completing her master’s degree practicum with us as a student at the University of New Mexico. Most recently Megan was a staff nurse at Gundersen Health Systems. 

     Another alumna, Michelle Wolf, a pediatric nurse, is joining the nursing faculty. Shelley, as she likes to be called, comes to us from Gundersen Health Systems.

     The Center for Adult Learning welcomes Annette Roter, Ph.D., who will coordinate the Health Management Major and teach in the MBA’s Health Care Emphasis area.  Annette comes to us after working as an Enterprise Director of Leadership Education at the Mayo Clinic.

     Several new faculty members join the Graduate Studies area. Nina Albanese-Kotar is our new addition to the Masters of Mental Health Counseling program. Nina earned her first Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of New Hampshire and her second Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

   Jeanette Armstrong joins the School of Education as the Wisconsin Cross-categorical and Reading Program Specialist. Jeanette has experience teaching about integrating iPads into the classroom and using technology to differentiate instruction. 

     Val  Krage also joins the School of Education and graduate studies as a part time Wisconsin Post Baccalaureate Teacher Licensure Coordinator. Val comes to Viterbo after having served numerous years in the La Cresent-Hokah Public Schools as a Licensed Public Educator and Program Coordinator. 

     Another alumna, Becky Perz, joins the School of Nursing as a graduate clinical faculty member. Becky comes to us most recently from Tomah Memorial Hospital and as an adjunct faculty member for Graceland University.

     Finally, Taylor Lewis joins the Global Education Office as our new Study Abroad Coordinator. Taylor’s own study abroad has led her to Costa Rica for an internship, to Derry, Northern Ireland to study at the University of Ulster of Magee and to Peru to complete an intensive Spanish language program. 

     Doug Wilkin joins the Fine Arts Center as the Event Operations Coordinator/Audio Specialist. See Doug for all your sound needs, even how to sound like an expert when using a microphone.


Wisdom from NYC


By  Jessica Hartling

Lumen Assistant Editor


     Welcome back Viterbo students! My name is Jessica Hartling.  I am the assistant editor for Lumen. 

     During the summer, I lived on the island of Manhattan for two months. I was offered a biology internship in which I conducted my own project. 

     Living in the city that never sleeps I learned many life lessons. These lessons I feel are important to share with Lumen readers. 

     First, do not forget to smile and be polite. The stereotype that New Yorkers are rude is not completely true. They are just not as nice as what we find in the Midwest. With this being said, it is amazing how much a kind gesture or a smile can impact someone’s day.  

     Second, live in the spur of the moment. Be flexible with your plans. Make the most out of your time here at Viterbo and in college, because we only get one chance of being here. 

     Next, find your inner fashionista. In New York, anything goes. You decide to wear something outrageous, but you love it and feel confident in it. Rock it! Do not be afraid to express yourself through clothing.     There is nothing better than having an outfit which illustrates who you really are. 

     Go see shows! I never realized how much a single show could impact your life. I saw “Once,” a Broadway musical about the characters Guy and Girl. It is a simple love story, but by the end, I left the theatre a different person. I found myself rekindled with the idea of fighting for your dreams, and you will achieve them.  Support the theatre, musical theatre, and vocal performance departments and take advantage of the possibility what you see on stage may change the way you see the world. 

     Lastly, there is a big and crazy world out there. I never realized all the possibilities that were open to me until I went to New York. I saw a world full of culture, and opportunities which are not available to me here in Wisconsin, such as seeing Nicki Manaj at Target.  Go explore yourself and the world. I feel like Ms. Frizzle from “The Magic School Bus” when I say this, but “take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!” 

     I look forward to writing in Lumen this year, and sharing my newly found perspective with the readers. 

Lumen: new year, new staff


By  Melissa Freund

Lumen Editor


Hello, Lumen readers,

     I hope that everyone has had a fun and relaxing summer, and is excited for the new school year. The 2013-14 Viterbo University Lumen staff would like to welcome everyone back to campus. With a large number of the previous staff graduating last spring, the Lumen press-room is filled with many new faces. 

     One newcomer joining the staff this year is junior business management major Gage Maurer. Given his interests and talents in business and economics, Gage will be heading the business manager position. Coming to Viterbo from Madison, Wis., Gage dove in to the local community last year, with his run for the La Crosse City Council.

     The campus life editor for the coming school year will be Brittany Thompson, a senior nutrition and dietetics major with minors in psychology and ethics. Originally from Prior Lake, Minn., Brittany spent a short period of time as a member of Viterbo’s volleyball team. 

     Melissa Vach will be taking over as the arts and entertainment editor. Melissa originates from La Crosse, Wis. She is an English major with writing emphasis, who will be graduating in the spring. Melissa has previously had articles published in Lumen as a part of her news reporting and writing course. 

     The final new addition to the Lumen staff is Ryan Miller, a junior business major from Mauston, Wis. Ryan will be taking the position of sports editor on this year’s staff, and like Melissa, Ryan has previously been a contributing writer for Lumen.  Ryan is a member of Viterbo’s baseball team.

     Jessica Schurmann, is one of three returning staff members.  A senior studio art major with a painting emphasis from Mauston, Wis, she will be filling the positions of on-line editor, photographer, and graphic designer. A semester studying art in Florence, Italy has driven Jessica to combine her love of art and travel in her future career plans. After Viterbo University, Jessica hopes to pursue a Global Education masters and eventually work in a university setting as a study abroad coordinator.

     This year’s assistant editor position will be filled by Jessica Hartling, who is from Waukesha, Wis. She is a senior biochemistry major who is excited to graduate this December. Last year she told Lumen she wanted to get a Harry Potter related tattoo. Over the summer, she finally got it! Jessica was previously the assistant campus life editor, and is looking forward to writing for Lumen again and working with her colleagues. 

     And I am Melissa Freund, a senior English education major, with a psychology minor, from Marshfield, Wis. I was last year’s assistant sports editor and took over as the online editor at the end of the year. In my free time, I enjoy expressing my creative side through drawing and painting. I am very much looking forward to my new role on the Lumen staff and am excited to see what this year’s staff is capable of. 

We sincerely hope that you enjoy reading the Lumen and will return to the newsstands again and again. 


450 students join Viterbo family


By Jessica Hartling

Assistant Editor


     On a foggy Friday, August 23, around 450 new incoming students moved into Bonaventure and Marian Halls. Orientation leaders, resident assistants (RAs), faculty and volunteers all gathered at 6:45 a.m. to kick off orientation weekend with the move-in process. 

     Clubs such as Residence Hall Council, Student Government Association, and Viterbo Student Nurses Association had students volunteering to help new students move in while promoting their club. In addition, athletes from sports such as women’s soccer, women’s basketball, and men’s rugby were a large portion of the volunteer force.  

     Many of the volunteers were returners from previous years of helping students move in. “This is my second year helping the new students move in,” Jack Rice, junior social work major from St. Paul, Minn. told Lumen. “I wanted to help the incoming students get a great start to their orientation weekend.” 

     Orientation leaders had similar feelings towards the first weekend. “I wanted to help out with orientation weekend,” Nathan Caves, junior nursing major from Rochester, Minn, told Lumen. “I remember how important this weekend was for my success at Viterbo, I wanted to make sure that the new students got the most out of it as possible.” 

   Orientation leaders and RAs moved in earlier during the summer, and spent hours preparing for this event. All the orientation leaders were interviewed and selected during the spring semester, and  had training. RAs went through a similar process. “It was a long and fun process to get ready for all students,” Jeremiah Gile, senior vocal performance major from Madison, Wis. told Lumen. 

     New students arrived to Viterbo in a variety of fashions. Some with multiple cars full of their belongings, or a U-haul. The number of family members helping each student move in varied as well. 

     “I am very excited to have my whole family here to help me move in. I would not have wanted it any other way,” Bailey Kundinger, freshman nursing major from Madison, Wis. told Lumen.

     Not all incoming students were with their family during move in. “I came here by a Greyhound bus all by myself,” Thumper German, education and sociology major from Orange County, Calif, told Lumen. 

     Another student traveled as far as Calgary in Canada to get to Viterbo. “It is a 22 hour drive from Calgary to here,” Liz Beingessner, mother of a new student, told Lumen. “We dropped off his sister and the dog at my mother’s and drove here together.” 

     Many of those helping with move in had advice for the incoming students. 

     “My advice to all students is to do yoga,” Beingessner said. “Be yourself; that is the best advice I can give freshman. Friends will happen, just be yourself,” Gile said.“ 

     After move-in activities, orientation weekend commenced with a theme of Disney movies. Activities for new students included a showing of the “Great Gatsby,” bowling at Pla-mor Lanes, and a comedian. 

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