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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