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University of St. Thomas

Kate '18

Art Changes We Change

There is no true definition of art, as the definition lies is the eyes of the beholder. This is one of the most complex and unexplainable wonders of the world, and something I have learned to particularly love during my time spent in London. I have now visited the Tate Modern art museum three times for my Art History course, and on each of my visits have gained a more robust appreciation for this incredible exhibition of art. The Tate is not telling a story of history, rather it is doing something else, but what exactly that is, has proven immensely difficult to define.

One of the most attractive features of the Tate is how the museum has captured art emerging from completely ordinary and everyday artifacts. Our culture has mutually developed and agreed upon a definition of beauty, yet the Tate has utterly shattered this “definition,” as not all of the pieces appear beautiful in this traditional sense. Modern art is quite unique, and honestly I do not love or even understand all of the pieces in this museum, yet I have come to a deeper understanding that art comes in many shapes, forms, and sizes.






Kate '18

Get Ready to Register

Attention Tommies, registration is just around the corner! As usual, the semester is flying by and registration for J-Term and Spring has snuck up on us all too quickly. Registration times and hold information has now been posted to your Murphy Online account.

3 Tips on the Registration Process:

1.) Faculty advisors-

Set up an appointment to meet with your faculty advisor. Faculty advisors serve as a great resource to you on campus, and in some cases, it is necessary to meet with them in order to lift holds. Not only do faculty advisors take the time to sit down with each of their students individually, but they also hold valuable information for your specific major. They are also knowledgeable resources in regards to career advice and connections within the professional world. Your four-year plan is also a helpful tool for the registration process and this document should be updated prior to registering each semester.

2.) Ask for advice-

Seek the advice of upperclassmen for class and professor recommendations. These students have been in your shoes before and I guarantee they will have some valuable information for you.

3.) Prepare-

Classes are posted to Murphy Online and you can check out the different classes and how quickly they are filling up ahead of time. Keep checking back on a regular basis because class number may change between the time you first look and when you actually go to register.

Students study together May 18, 2015 in the O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library great room during the finals week "study Monday."


Olivia Mpanga (center) works on a math problem in her finance class March 13, 2012 in McNeely Hall. Felista and Olivia Mpanga, students from Uganda working to get their degrees from St. Thomas, were profiled for St. Thomas magazine.

Kate '18

Fuller’s Brewery Tour 

Hands on learning is priceless and quite unique to the study abroad programs at St. Thomas. While abroad, the London Business Semester students take a class called Operations Management, which focuses on the supply chain and operations side of business. Our students had the opportunity to take learning out of the classroom and tour Fuller’s Brewery in London. Just to clarify, the legal drinking age in the United Kingdom is 18 years old, and all of our students were of age on the tour.


Established in 1845, Fuller’s is the only independently run brewery in England. Fuller’s has a unique history and was founded by John Bird Fuller, Henry Smith and John Turner. Things have changed throughout the years at Fuller’s but one thing has remained- they want to provide their customers with the best drinking experience possible. At the Fuller facilities, George Gales is also brewed according to all of their recipes. Between Fuller’s and Gales, there is 9 or 10 different types of brews, as well as a couple of seasonal brews in production at any given time. With an output of 215,000 barrels a year and 60,000 pints daily, Fuller’s is also exported to 69 different countries all over the world, yet has managed to keep operation on a human scale.


Touring the brewery, our group was introduced to the operational components of Fuller’s, learned what goes into the craft of brewing and even did some sampling to get a taste of the Fuller’s tradition. Fuller’s is famous for their beers, ales, seasonal brews, and of course, their flagship beer known as London Pride. The London Pride has been the UK’s best selling cast-conditioned ale for over 60 years and makes up 80% of production.


The brewing process is fascinating and has transformed from an art into a modern day operation considered to be a science. In the 19th century, the brew master would carefully monitor the brews, and would go off of taste, appearance and aromas alone to make careful adjustments along the way. Today, the process, while still quite articulate, has morphed into a science with the steps along the way being precise and tested throughout to ensure much more regulated results. Beer consists of four simple ingredients: water, grains, hops and yeast. 1 pint of beer alone requires 4 quarts of water to make it. At Fuller’s nothing is wasted and when a component reaches its final stage of usage, is sold to other companies to be used for different means.


At the end of the tour we taste tested the London Pride, a seasonal brew called the Red Fox, Oliver’s Island which started off as a seasonal best seller and quickly became a regular brew, a Craft Logger, and the Organic Honeydew.





Thank you Fuller’s for this incredible opportunity. Cheers!



Kate '18

Office of Study Abroad Lands in London

The new London Business Semester program manager, Emerald, hosted two sessions at Maxwell’s in Covent Garden inviting our current London Business Semester students for Freakshakes. Students had the opportunity to share feedback on how the program is going and thoughts on changes to make in the future. Maxwell’s is famous for their freakshakes, an over-the-top monster dessert that started in Australia and is now becoming popular in major cities around the world.

Study abroad programs at St. Thomas are absolutely phenomenal and the Office of Study Abroad does a great job organizing, planning and ensuring the highest quality of education and experiences for our students. The Office of Study Abroad is already on top of their game and has sent Emerald, the new London Business Semester program manager, to London for the week to check in on our program and gain an inside prospective on the classes here in London, stop in on some of our Business 200 sites, and touch base with our program affiliate, the American Institute of Foreign Study. Next year’s brochures and marketing are in the making and filled lots of photos from our current group’s time and adventures all over London and other countries we have visited.


Gaining cultural education and experience is truly the chance of a lifetime. Over 50% of Tommies study abroad during their time at St. Thomas to incredible places all over the world through J-Term, semester, and summer programs. If you are interested in studying abroad in the future, check out the Office of Study Abroad website or sit in on an information session.

So what exactly is a Freakshake? Below are a couple of elaborate images to give you an idea of this phenomenon that is striking all over the United Kingdom. Maybe if we are lucky they will hit the U.S. in the near future!






Kate '18

Fall is Calling your Name

Fall is so beautiful in the Twin Cities, and each year proves to be a favorite season of many of our Tommies! With cooler weather approaching, getting out and about in St. Paul and Minneapolis is the perfect opportunity to soak up the last of the gorgeous Minnesota weather.

5 Fall Favorites:

1.) Mill City Farmers Market 

Tasty fall food, live music and an art market are calling your name! The Halloween Harvest Festival at the Mill City Farmers Market on October 29th from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.


2.) Changing Colors

Summit Avenue is the longest stretch of historical homes in the United States and known for its close proximity to the Mississippi River and to St. Thomas. This famous avenue is also home to trees dating back centuries and the leaves changing colors in the fall weather offer incredible views. After a stroll along Summit, you can warm up in Coffee Bene and enjoy a “Chaider” which is my favorite fall drink.



3.) Pumpkin Patch

Sever’s Fall Festival is celebrating their 20th year and will be open for one last weekend in October! Pick out a pumpkin to carve, get lost in the corn maze, make your way through the petting zoo, enjoy the live entertainment, and try some tasty fall treats such as the roasted corn, burgers, and mini-donuts.


4.) Run the Monster Dash! 

There is no better way to enjoy the last bit of fall weather than a run. The Monster Dash is an annual tradition and you can find a wide range of costumes dashing about the streets of the Twin Cities. The race is on Saturday, October 29th and registration is still available online.


5.) Minnehaha Park

Minnehaha Park in on of my favorite parks in the Twin Cities, and is an outdoor space that promises incredible views no matter the season. During the fall, you will find locals roaming through the park and admiring the falls before picnicking under the shelter.


Enjoy Tommies, and let us know some of your favorite things to do during fall around St. Paul and Minneapolis!

Kate '18

Blue Door Pub- St. Paul

The month of January in St. Paul is bleak, cold, and almost like an abandoned city. It’s so frigid outside with below zero temperatures that the few students who do remain on campus only venture out for class once a day. However, I’m more than willing to bare the cold for Blue Door! Another perk about St. Thomas is that Blue Door has a location just a few blocks from campus. In my opinion (as well as many other highly rated food reviewers), Blue Door is home to one of best burgers you will ever have. They also have an incredible happy hour, including deals on appetizers after 10pm. Last night I ordered the boneless Buffalo Wings and Smoky Bandit Tots. The wings and tots are so special because any of the ten wing sauces can be tossed with the tots. Delicious as always, Blue Door never disappoints and was such a treat in this cold January weather!

Check out the Blue Door Pub website and menu!


Smoky Bandit Tots


The Classic Blucy with Maple Bourbon Bacon Tots

Kate '18

Namaste and Sweat Away- A Week of Free Yoga

Who doesn’t like to take full advantage of free things, especially free yoga? CorePower Yoga offers a free week of yoga and other fitness classes to all of their new members. This is a great deal because a workout class can be anywhere from $5- $20, and even more costly in the Twin Cities area.

A little background: I consider myself to be an avid yogi. I have gone to a hot yoga studio for years and have mastered most of the posses including the headstand.

My boyfriend Alex and I decided to put CorePower to the test as we dove head first into a fit 2016 and here’s the results!!

Our Week at CorePower…

Day 1: Friday, Hot Power Fusion yoga, 4:30-5:30

All week long I had been super excited to start at CorePower! The sign up process was super easy, we then had a tour of the spacious studio, and immediately began our class. As soon as I stepped into the 107-degree studio I started sweating profusely. Multiple times I thought I was going to pass out from the intense heat and difficultly level, and at some points I even felt too weak to perform the next pose. It was a rough class, but at the same time, very satisfying. Afterwards, I can honestly say I have never felt better in my life.

Day 2: Saturday, CorePower Ryder, “RealRyder” cycling class, 8:30-9:15

I have ALWAYS wanted to try a cycling class. I could already envision myself riding in The Tour de France and cycling my heart out. The reality was this class was extremely DIFFICULT. It was interesting to see the type of people in the Saturday morning class- mostly older (and very fit) people from the St. Paul area. Within the first few minutes the entire room had steamed up and the intensity level sky had rocketed. The upbeat music and fun atmosphere dictated the vibe of the class, and yes, it was very difficult, but it was also a ton of fun!

***Note: CorePower got the best of us, and we had to take a few days off as a result of being extremely sore.

Day 5: Back At It!! Tuesday, Sculpt Yoga, 4:00-5:00

I had heard from numerous people that their favorite class at CorePower was yoga sculpt, so I was so excited to try this! Similar to yoga, yoga sculpt is a variation of yoga flow intermixed with free arm weight training and core. The class instructor had a whistle, and even had the audacity to blow it at me, pushing me to work even harder. This was another challenging class, but also very fun. One thing about CorePower is they don’t let you skimp on your workouts.

Well… Here’s What I Thought:

Favorite class: Yoga Sculpt

Take Away: Immediately after my first class, I noticed a positive change in my body. I felt more toned, and as if all the toxins in my body had been rung out of me. Even though I was very sore, my energy levels had increased. Yoga focuses on mind, body, spirit connections, leaving one with feelings of energy and positivity, and I can truly tell the difference in my body and mind after doing yoga classes.

Would I like to do it again? YES!!! However, CorePower is very expensive at $20 a class or you need to purchase a membership. Working out at a studio is also a huge time commitment. So sadly, I probably won’t be doing it again.

What Did Alex Think: I was very impressed that he went to every class with me! He also thought the classes very challenging, but the end results of feeling so good made it all worth it!

Check out the CorePower website for their class schedule and how you too can get your free week of yoga! [Copy and paste link into browser].

IMG_6618  FullSizeRender

Kate '18

No-Bake Cookie Dough Chocolate Cups

Let’s be honest… I make cookies because the absolute best part is eating way too much dough. I found this recipe for No-Bake Cookie Dough Chocolate Cups on Tasty and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since!! This is such a fun recipe because first and foremost you can safely eat the dough (goodbye eggs and salmonella poisoning, hello cream cheese!), and this recipe puts a modern twist on your average chocolate chip cookies by adding the outside chocolate layer.

(To watch the link above, you will have to copy and paste it into your browser, it’s 40 seconds and super cute!)

Ingredients: 6 tbsp melted butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 ounces cream cheese, 4 tbsp sugar, 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp vanilla, 3/4 cup chocolate chips (for the dough), 1 cup chocolate chips (melted for the outside layer), muffin tin lining cups.

Directions: Stir all the ingredients together. Melt the 1 cup of chocolate chips. Put a layer of the melted chocolate on the bottom of each muffin tin, then form a ball of cookie dough and place on top of the melted chocolate in each tin lining. Pour a layer of melted chocolate over each of the dough balls. Cool for 30 minutes.

I hope you all enjoy just as much as I did!!!

Kate '18

Insider Look on Urban Evolutions 

Over winter break I spent time with family, ate lots of good food, relaxed, enjoyed cooler weather activities, and of course, shopped. While in Appleton, I made a special visit to the most fascinating shop I know: Urban Evolutions! It is extremely hard to put into words why this store is so mesmerizing, but each and every time I go there, I fall for Urban Evolutions even more! This is a specialty shop located in Appleton, Wisconsin which handcrafts and produces ornate furniture, flooring, and decor. Using reclaimed material to make the old new, Urban Evolutions is family owned, and produces truly unique pieces that are sold on location as sample pieces, or can be ordered out of magazines such as Anthropologie. Upon entering the doors, I just feel this overwhelming sense longing to buy everything in sight. Each piece is so wonderful and unique in it’s own way, you can’t help but yearn to have it! By no means am I anywhere close to buying full sets of furniture for myself yet, but I have been instilled with the mind set of quality over quantity. Urban Evolutions is a prime example of upholding a level of excellence in their creations with the mindset of well-made and beautiful pieces will last a lifetime, and these are the things that make a house a home.

Check out the Urban Evolutions website, or if you are ever anywhere near Appleton, it’s completely worth a visit!

The Anthropologie website is attached below, Urban Evolutions designs and creates furniture for this company, as well as several other companies.




Kate '18

It’s Up to You

There is a choice to be made, but ultimately, it’s up to you. You are the only one who can choose which way to live your life. In my own life, I choose happiness. I choose being a positive person who has no room or time for negativity in my life. There is nothing I dislike more than negativity. Being negative is a very unattractive characteristic, and when I see this in people, I don’t want to be around them at all.

I recently saw this quote by Lululemon:

“What are three things you’re grateful for in the last 24 hours? If you answer this question daily, you’ll be a happier person (and we’re really into that).”


This message sunk in deep, and it also really got me thinking. My mind instantly thought of the last 24 hours, and in that 24-hour span, there were so many things that popped into my mind that I was grateful for. I constantly count my blessings, and remember how fortunate I am to be where I am in my life, as well as the amazing people that I get to spend my life with. Pinpointing three other things that I was grateful for in the past 24 hours came easy to me as well. I was grateful for attending a beautiful mass at St. Maron’s church. I was grateful for the beautiful, and usually warm weather for a Minnesota December. Most of all, I was grateful for my amazing boyfriend who is way too sweet to me.

In thinking of these three things that I was grateful for, not one negative thought even crossed my mind, and to be honest, it was easy to come up with these three things because I truly believe that I am a positive person. There are so many things that we are all grateful for, and these blessings are in direct correlation with our happiness. If we think of all the good things in our lives, instead of dwelling on the negative, we will be much happier people.

So, it’s up to you. You have the choice between being a positive or negative person, but it’s ultimately up to you. I challenge you between now and Christmas, to take the time each day to think about 3 things you were grateful for in the past 24 hours.